Woman Suing Uber, Claiming Driver Shattered Her Jaw on New Year's Eve

A 29-year-old woman is suing Uber, claiming a driver for the ride sharing service shattered her jaw during an attack on New Year's Eve.

Krystal Ortiz says she had been drinking at a party in Hollywood that night and thought she'd do the responsible thing and find a designated driver.

"I took the Uber because they hold themselves in a safe and responsible way for people to transport themselves, and I relied upon them to provide this," she said at a press conference with her attorney Tuesday.

As she was sitting in the car, Ortiz's cellphone was recording video when she claims the driver snapped without provocation over a conversation she was having with another passenger.

"Why are you kicking me out of the car?" she asks.

"Because you're being combative," the driver replies.

The driver then orders her out of the car.

"Do me a favor. I'm going to ask you one more time to get out of this car and if I have to go over there and drag you out the car and put you on that sidewalk" - the phone is suddenly smacked.

"Out, now," he continues.

What happened next is interrupted in the video. Ortiz says the driver smashed her phone, then took his anger out on her physically, leaving her with a swollen face, bloodied knee and ultimately - the aftermath of her reconstructive surgery.

"The Uber driver struck me in the face with his fist both inside the car and out on the sidewalk after he knocked me to the curb. He shattered my jaw and I spent days in the hospital getting reconstructive surgery," she said.

An Uber spokesman tells NBC4 the company acted quickly.

"This is a terrible situation and we take matters involving the safety of everyone who uses the Uber platform very seriously," the company said. "Upon hearing from the rider and speaking with her immediately following the incident, we placed the driver's account on hold and following a thorough review have since permanently deactivated him from the Uber platform."

The company also says it is assisting LAPD in its investigation.

"If that crime had been committed in any household here in Southern California, you'd be on $50,000 bail, you'd be promptly arrested and you'd face the criminal justice system immediately," said Ortiz's attorney, Ernest Algorri.

Ortiz is suing Uber for an undisclosed amount.

The case is in the hands of the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office. The LAPD says the driver also filed a report for battery against Ortiz.

The driver has not been identified.

Contact Us