David Winer is fuming. He’s due in small claims court next week because he says an Uber driver is suing his restaurant Logan Tavern as well as a manager who works there for what amounts to a negative review. He says the manager shared an Uber pool with two other people on Jan. 30. from her home to the restaurant.
“The driver then apparently received a bad review and assumed it was my manager,” Winer writes in a statement. “He came back to where he dropped her off 30 minutes later, Logan Tavern, and verbally assaulted her demanding she retract the the review.”
He continues, “She tried to explain to him it was not her, that she had not left any review, but he continued and stated he would sue her if she didn’t retract. We had this on video.”
The plaintiff, Demetrius O’Neil, is claiming the manager, Taria Thomas, and the restaurant committed libel and slander, false witness, and fraudulent misrepresentation. See the full complaint here.
“Taria has admitted to making accusations against my name that are in fact damaging as well as false, and they’ve caused injury,” O’Neil writes in the complaint. “A retraction of statement was requested, but denied by the defendant.”
Reached by phone, O’Neil does not confirm that he drives for Uber, only a “ride-sharing app.”
“On this ride-sharing app, you run into an eclectic group of people,” O’Neil says. “One of the individuals I ran into was an employee of Logan Tavern.” He says there were two other people in the car in addition to Thomas.
“Shortly after, I received word that allegations were made against myself and my character from said passenger such as my driving abilities,” O’Neil continues. “They said I was driving impaired. An argument occurred in the car with the individual. These are very false allegations. To prove it, I have an active dash cam recording on my vehicle and I have a passenger who was also in the car at the time who is willing to confirm what I have to say for that morning.”
O’Neil is seeking $1,200. “When the ride-sharing platform conducts investigation, they suspend your account,” he explains.
Winer is particularly frustrated because he says he can’t get ahold of anyone at Uber. “I am somewhat surprised and at the same time not surprised at all that no one from Uber would even get back to me re[guarding] the emails nor the two different phone messages I left Monday, one in Chicago and one in San Fran[cisco]. I would suppose it’s indicative of larger structural issues or just plain apathy.”
Uber did not respond to a request for comment. Complicating the matter, Winer says O’Neil uses a different name when he drives for Uber. “My manager verifies 100 percent that he was her driver,” he says. “The same man that accosted her and threatened suit is the same as his Uber photo.”
The hearing is scheduled for Feb. 23.