The family of a Morehouse College graduate who was shot and killed by an Uber Eats driver in front of his Buckhead condominium has filed a lawsuit against the ride service, Channel 2 Action News reported.
Ryan Thornton, 30, was gunned down by Robert Bivines after ordering food in February 2018. The shooting was captured on video.
Bivines was convicted last November and sentenced to life in prison plus five years on charges of malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault and possession of a weapon during the commission of a felony, AJC.com previously reported.
Thornton’s mother is suing the company and Bivines, alleging his violent criminal history should have barred him from working as a delivery driver.
Nearly eight years before the murder, Bivines was charged with aggravated assault, Channel 2 reported. The charge was ultimately downgraded and he ended up being convicted of battery.
Rod Dixon, the Thornton family’s attorney, said Uber’s policy allows violent criminals to be hired seven years after a conviction.
“He was qualified to drive because (the conviction) was seven years and seven months prior,” Dixon said. “It just doesn’t make sense. We’re talking about drivers who are going to people’s homes.”
Marcene Thornton said her son was a big fan of Uber Eats and even tried to convince her to use the service. She said if he hadn’t ordered that night, he’d still be alive.
“It’s the last thing I said to my child,” Thornton said. “I don’t want anybody coming to my house with my food. I’ll go get my own food.”
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.
Download the new AJC app. More local news, more breaking news and in-depth journalism. AJC.com. Atlanta. News. Now.
Download the new AJC app. More local news, more breaking news and in-depth journalism.