Maryland family sues Uber for insurance coverage after father dies in crash

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The family of a Maryland man killed on the job is suing Uber.

The man was working for the ride-sharing service when he died in a tragic accident in Baltimore County. The family wonders about the exact amount of insurance coverage that has been provided to them.

Sunil Bariali’s family mourns his death and sues Uber. They think he had a certain amount of insurance that they are now entitled to, but the rideshare company claims it is much less.

“He said he would be fine,” said Soniya Baraili, Sunil Baraili’s 12-year-old daughter.

Soniya Baraili recalls the conversations she and her family had with her father, as well as their fears and worries.

Sunil Baraili, 30, was a full-time Uber driver. He died in an accident on December 11, 2021. His carpool passengers were seriously injured. Police determined the other driver, who also died, was at fault.

According to a Baltimore County crash investigation report, Sunil Baraili and his passengers were traveling south on Belair Road near Sheradale Drive in Kingsville.

Another SUV, driven by Maurice Harris, was traveling in the opposite direction on the wrong side of the road. The vehicles collided head-on, according to the report.

Police said Harris was driving a stolen car. Toxicology results show he had cocaine and fentanyl in his system. He had no insurance. Now the Baraili family is suing Uber.

“It’s getting worse and worse. We miss him so much,” said Soniya Baraili.

The family’s lawsuit claims that Uber Technologies INC. committed fraud, and they believe Sunil Baraili had $1 million in insurance based on information posted on Uber’s website, but Uber claims that is not the case. It’s a fraction of that amount.

“I think it’s absolutely excruciating,” attorney John Leppler said.

Leppler sued. He said Sunil Baraili joined Uber online in January 2020.

“I want Uber to come forward and deliver on their promise to the family,” he said.

Leppler said Sunil Baraili believed the insurance included $1 million in coverage for uninsured and underinsured motorists. And, at one point, Leppler said Uber offered it but switched carriers in 2019, opting for Farmers Insurance Exchange.

In court documents, Farmers said coverage was $30,000 per person and $60,000 per accident.

Leppler said Uber’s website still described $1 million in coverage at the time the lawsuit was filed. The family is also suing Farmers, alleging wrongful death and breach of contract.

“If you tell someone you’re offering $1 million per accident, here it’s $1 million per uninsured motorist coverage, then you have to pay if the circumstances warrant it. Here the circumstances warrant it. warrant,” Leppler said.

The 11 News I-Team recently found a page on Uber’s website listing $1 million in liability coverage, but it doesn’t give specific numbers for uninsured or underinsured motorists. A footnote indicates that coverage varies by state.

Leppler said the actual amounts are buried in the fine print.

“People have no idea how much insurance coverage they have. No idea,” he said.

In court documents, Uber denies all the allegations saying, “The Uber defendants have sympathy for the plaintiffs’ loss.” But the company “made no misrepresentations.” Uber also said Baraili “was made aware of and acknowledged the $30,000 per person coverage” specific to Maryland.

Farmers Insurance Exchange “denies all liability and all allegations of breach of contract or other wrongdoing”.

“He was a great guy. He was a great guy,” Soniya Baraili said.

Now Sunil Baraili’s children are trying to take care of their mother, Sunita.

“Mom, she cries every day. Me too, I’m really sad and I cry sometimes,” said Mausam Baraili, Sunil’s son.

They said their father brought them from Nepal to Maryland two years ago so they could get a better education. He was the sole breadwinner in the family.

The I-Team has reached out to Uber and Farmers for comment on the lawsuit. Neither company responded.

A settlement conference in the case is scheduled for Tuesday. The I-Team will wait to see what happens there and if the case will go to trial.

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