DAYTON — UPDATE @ 2:20 p.m.:
The widow of a Lyft driver shot and killed in Dayton in January has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the rideshare company and the teens who are accused of killing him.
When announcing the lawsuit against Lyft on Wednesday, attorney Michael Wright said the rideshare company chose “profit over people.”
The complaint states that on Jan 26, Brandon Cooper, 35, of Beavercreek, picked up two riders. Unbeknownst to him, there were both under the age of 18. Lyft policies state that users must be at least 18 years old to have a Lyft account.
An hour before being picked up by Brandon, the teens had allegedly carjacked another Lyft driver. That female Lyft driver was able to run to a nearby house, where the resident called 911, according to a 911 call obtained by News Center 7. The complaint states that the rideshare company did not notify Brandon about the incident after it was reported.
Without knowing about the incident, Wright said Brandon then picked up the riders from that same account as the one associated with the previous carjacking. As News Center 7 previously reported, police later found Brandon dead on Ferguson Ave. He had been shot and crashed into another car.
At a press conference on Wednesday, Dr. Derrick Foward, NAACP Dayton President, read emails Lyft sent to Brandon at least 12 hours after he was killed. They were both in regards to the reported carjacking and the company’s safety team was checking in to see if Brandon was ok.
Brandon’s wife, Brittney Cooper, and mother, Michelle Cooper, were on hand for the announcement of the lawsuit.
“The blood of my son is on Lyft’s hands,” Michelle said. “The only thing the didn’t do was pull the trigger.”
Brittney said the rideshare company provided a tool for the teens to take her husband’s life.
“The world lost someone who truly cared about everyone else than himself,” Brittney said.
News Center 7 previously reported that five teens were previously accused of crimes connected to a crime spree targeting Lyft drivers. In February, the Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office asked to move the cases of two teens to adult court.
News Center 7 learned Wednesday afternoon that a Montgomery County Common Pleas Court Juvenile Division judge granted the request to transfer 15-year-old Da’Trayvon Mitchell’s case to adult court. Mitchell is facing more than a dozen charges, including murder, felonious assault and grand theft of a motor vehicle, according to court records obtained by News Center 7.
Court records granting the transfer to adult court state that Mitchell possessed and did “use and/or display” the firearm during the incident. Records also state that he was on probation stemming from a prior delinquency adjudication for receiving stolen property.
“There is not sufficient time to rehabilitate the child within the juvenile system,” court records stated.
The second juvenile who’s case may also be transferred to adult court has an amenability hearing scheduled in January.
News Center 7 is reaching out to Lyft for comment on the lawsuit.
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