The director of public safety of Cabrini University is suing Uber, claiming a driver for the ride-sharing company brutally beat him and left him lying unconscious in a pool of blood after refusing to drive him from Philadelphia’s University City section to his Cherry Hill, New Jersey home.
The lawsuit states Joseph Fusco, 30, attended a private holiday party hosted by the security company Allied Universal on December 22 at a University City restaurant. Fusco, who is the public safety director of Cabrini University, says he left the party around 11 p.m. and called Uber for a ride home. The Uber driver arrived in a Toyota Corolla and Fusco got into the front passenger seat, according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit alleges Fusco asked the driver to take him to his home in Cherry Hill but the driver refused. When Fusco asked him again, the driver allegedly got out of the vehicle, opened the passenger door and dragged him out of the front seat by his coat collar. The driver then severely beat Fusco and left him lying on the pavement in a pool of blood, according to the lawsuit. The driver also allegedly stomped and kicked Fusco in the face and head while he was already unconscious. He then fled the scene, the lawsuit states.
Fusco claims that even after the brutal beating he was still charged for the 28-minute ride. His lawyer later told NBC10 he was eventually refunded however.
Two bystanders found him on the sidewalk and called 911. Fusco was taken to Presbyterian Hospital and treated for serious facial injuries and broken bones, according to the lawsuit.
After being released from the hospital, Fusco says he emailed Uber to tell them he was assaulted by the driver. The lawsuit states a representative for Uber told Fusco they would investigate the matter and also offered to reimburse him for the ride he was billed for. Fusco says the company hasn’t contacted him since then though his lawyer confirmed that he was eventually reimbursed.
The lawsuit also accuses Uber of not cooperating with University of Pennsylvania police in the investigation by not giving them the proper information on the driver, including his full name and license plate number.
A spokesperson for Uber declined to give NBC10 a formal comment on the incident due to the pending litigation. The spokesperson did claim however that Uber is cooperating with the police investigation in spite of the lawsuit’s claims and that the driver accused of assaulting Fusco was banned from the company. The spokesperson also said that the driver alerted Uber after the incident on December 23.
The University of Pennsylvania Police Department did not confirm or deny the claims from the lawsuit or Uber but instead told NBC10 they were investigating.