Photo courtesy of Lyft.
Photo courtesy of Lyft.

Lyft trains drivers to give fist-bumps to passengers after they enter a vehicle as a way to break the ice.

But what happened inside a Lyft car in Seattle on Monday was a fist-bump that did not break ice, but rather a nose.

Forbes reported today on a disturbing story that highlights the risks of the ever-popular sharing economy. Two days ago, a Lyft driver in Seattle asked a passenger to stop smoking in his car. This apparently angered the rider, who then punched the driver in the nose.

The Lyft driver then posted a photo of his bloody and broken nose onto a driver-only Facebook community page.

“Just got punched in my face by this guy for asking him to stop smoking in my car,” he wrote. “Broke my nose.”

It’s unclear how exactly the altercation went down, but at least one person was left injured. Lyft has deactivated the passenger from its system and sent this statement to us:

We were informed that a Lyft driver was injured by a passenger in Seattle on Monday morning. We’ve been in close contact with the driver, who has let us know that he is safe and doing well. The passenger was immediately deactivated from using Lyft and has been blocked from creating future accounts on the platform. The safety of our community members is always our top priority, and we will continue to stay in close touch with this driver.

Problems like this are bound to arise for Lyft, or any “sharing economy” company that brings strangers together for an exchange of services. There have been several similar instances — for example, an Uber passenger sued the company in March after an alleged sexual assault, while a San Francisco resident had her Airbnb rental home burglarized in 2011.

How Lyft handles situations like Monday’s, past just deactivating people from their system, will be interesting to watch — particularly because of how Lyft has branded its “Your Friend with a Car,” mantra for its service more so than other competitors. Like Uber and Sidecar, Lyft has a implemented a rating system designed to maintain high quality and keep the bad drivers and passengers out.

Do these types of stories make you feel less inclined to use platforms like Lyft or Airbnb?

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  • mjr

    What the heck does that have to do with a fist bump? Fail on the headline, dude.

  • Lawrence Lam

    Would this not happen in a Taxi? Or even the Bus?

  • Guest

    How awful! Thank heavens that TNCs can ban unruly passengers. This is truly a “1-star” passenger.

    • ClaimsAdjuster

      Big deal. You should be thanking the taxpayers for picking up the tab for the driver’s medical treatment.

      • Guest

        Under Obamacare, all taxpayers pay for their own insurance.

        Fuck off. You know nothing, ClaimsAdjuster. If you reply I will tell you again.

        • ClaimsAdjuster

          Ooh, the Uber troll threatens to yell “Fuck off” again. I am soo scared I will stop replying to the pile of BS he calls a post.

          Or not.

          Medical insurance such as Obamacare doesn’t cover on-the-job accidents, twit. If you had the slightest clue what you are talking about, you would know that employers & employees pay Labor & Industries insurance to cover their workers. Certain high risk self employed individuals such as cab owner/drivers pay for it themselves.

          The requirement to pay L&I for cab drivers in written in RCW 81.72.30:

          A taxicab vehicle and its operator must have evidence of payment in good standing with the department of labor and industries of the for hire vehicle operator industrial insurance premium, whenever the taxicab vehicle is operated on public streets and highways for compensation.

          L&I is just another one of the responsibilities that your parasitic Randist heroes at Uber and Lyft dump on the general public – just like their scheme to get the private auto insurance policyholder to pay for their accidents.

          • Guest

            I don’t think you heard me when I said, “fuck off.” That means I don’t want to read any more of your rants about subjects on which you have little knowledge and threats to accuse men of violating laws you have no power to enforce. Sit down, shut up, and let us enjoy our TNCs. Your petulant, priggish posts pollute our pleasant patter.

            In short, fuck off. This is the last reply of this thread, but like the town drunk the morning after he falls off his stool, I expect you to come back and talk more shit. When you do, the learnèd men will once again tell you to fuck off.

          • ClaimsAdjuster

            …”fuck off” … means I don’t want to read any more of your rants…”

            So don’t read my posts. I thought you were telling me to “f off” but apparently you were directing that at yourself. A word of advice: you do not have to plaster your self loathing all over the internet – you can do that in the privacy of your parent’s basement.

          • Carl Honduras

            What a fucking baby you are. Typical Uber/Lyft forum troll bullshit. Do you even understand that the more you morons post like a bunch of children, crying and whining just because the law doesn’t allow Uber or Lyft to operate, you are just showing everyone why this kind of bullshit needs to be off our streets? If Lyft and Uber were such great TNC companies then why can’t they arrange a proper insurance plan for their drivers and customers?

  • sga1952

    Odd the driver didn’t call the police immediately. If what he did is true, he should be in jail, not just ‘delisted’.

    • Mike

      I’m a bit skeptical of this event. It very well may have happened and I really hope the driver is ok. That said, I’ve seen the nose bleed pic in the other news outlets and I have rose nose bleeds due to dry weather. A broken nose would be a lot more nastiness and his nose would be pretty bunged up. The pic I saw looks more like he picked his nose too much and took a selfie.

      Honestly, the driver and Lyft should be contacting SPD about this if it really did happen. That’s assault and I don’t want more crazy people wandering the streets of Seattle than we already have. We’ve got enough psycho nut jobs as is.

      • ClaimsAdjuster

        More likely a nasty drunk than a psycho.

    • JerryHatrick

      The police were contacted immediately. The article doesn’t state that they weren’t. It’s on public record with the SPD. Why would you assume that they didn’t? Odd.

      • Astral Writer

        Maybe because the author left out this information. Also, Lyft’s response to the incident sums it all up.

    • Astral Writer

      This is what makes Lyft the laughing stock of ridesharing. At least charge the rider $250 for making a mess. It is under the terms and conditions of the user agreement. This account should be forwarded to the police.

  • LALyfter

    I’m a Lyft driver/mentor and based on conversations I’ve had with some of the Seattle mentors, I do believe this actually happened. The driver did call 911 and has been in contact with local police. He got some video footage of the assault with his cell phone and I think he’s filing charges.

    • Astral Writer

      This Lyft driver had time to capture video? This doesn’t make any sense. How can a driver shoot video to capture this assault in motion. Wouldn’t filming video while giving s ride go against privacy. It is possible the driver shot this video after his nose got broken and the assault continued on with rants?

  • Kary

    This raises another issue. I suspect that these ride share companies need to be paying the Department of Labor and Industries money for workers’ compensation. Employee status is not necessary to be covered. I also suspect that they are not paying, because they skirt the law elsewhere.

    • JerryHatrick

      They aren’t paying. Excellent point.

      • Kary

        If the driver goes to the doctor, I suspect L&I will be notified, so that might change.

    • ClaimsAdjuster

      Taxi owners are required to pay L&I for their lease drivers. Cab owner/drivers have to pay it themselves. Lyft, UberX and Sidecar drivers should be paying L&I, which is quite expensive, 0.55/hour because cab driving is a dangerous occupation due to the risk of accidents and crime.

      But Lyft/UberX and Sidecar drivers are running under-the-table operations without business, for-hire licenses or commercial insurance. L&I is just another responsibility that they shirking. Treatment for the driver’s injuries will probably be picked up by the county.

      • Kary

        I doubt it depends on ownership of the car, but yes if they are truly a sole proprietorship (rather than an independent contractor) and have no connection to a taxi firm, a taxi driver might have to pay. If the drivers are operating under the Lyft name, then Lyft is likely responsible, just as a real estate brokerage firm is responsible for their agents. Interesting question though–I wonder what L&I thinks?

        • ClaimsAdjuster

          Since the Lyft drivers do not have UBI numbers, L&I may take the position that they are employees of Lyft and thus the company has to pay. Lyft would then just make the drivers get business licenses. Then L&I would assess the drivers as they do now for taxi owner/drivers.

  • boop

    I think it’s impolite to ask a guest passenger to not smoke.

  • Chill Will

    greatest first two sentences in an article of all time.

  • ClaimsAdjuster

    The camera that Seattle cabs are required to carry is even better since it records the entire crime. Right now, it is the driver’s word against the passenger’s.

    But the camera is another one of the regulations that Lyft ignores.

    • ejmalone

      does the camera record the passenger’s address, like the credit card offers?

      Your impotent rage and yearlong campaign against TNCs are amusing. Keep it up.

      • ClaimsAdjuster

        A credit card does provide evidence of an assault, twit.

        When the city issues the Cease and Desist and sting campaign against the TNCs next week, you will not be amused.

        • ejmalone

          A record of *who* assaulted you (via cc info, facebook profile) is better than a photo of the assailant. Evidence of an assault is not useful if you can’t track down the person.

          You suggested the camera was better. I disagree.

          A twit

          • ClaimsAdjuster

            Who says you can’t track down the assailant without their credit card info? Police do it all the time.

            Without evidence of the assault in the form of a video or an eyewitness account, you got nothing.

          • Justin Effing La Plante

            Don’t mind ejmalone, notice the icon their account uses. it is the logo for a LEGAL TNC company in Madison WI with an uber stash over it. The company ‘Green Cab’ has successfully helped madison’s city council eject Lyft and Uber because neither company has valid insurance coverage. Something that is fastly ejecting them from many other cities, states and other countries. EJ is a super troll. I would suggest a paid troll but the posts EJ keeps making are fucking retarded.

          • ejmalone

            Why’d you change your name?

          • Carl Honduras

            Why did you change yours?

          • ejmalone

            I’ve always had this name. Hey, now that rideshares are legal in Seattle, you’ll love this bit of ‘news.’

            Cabbies trying to learn how to do their jobs!


          • Carl Honduras

            Seattle can burn all the money it wants on uninsured wrecks. Still doesn’t change that fact that Lyft and Uber are officially booted from Madison. And if things are so great why is California now reversing it’s stance on Uber and Lyft? awwwww…. is trolling new people now getting so hard you have to come back to me again? :( poor EJ

          • Carl Honduras

            Yeah, and Lyft and Uber are still banned here as well as Germany, nearly every other EU country, Two US states and over 60 US cities.

          • Carl Honduras

            Why did you dry up and fall off the earth? I thought you were all about proving this crap was worth fighting for.

          • ejmalone

            It was worth fighting for, and now all TNCs in Seattle are officially legal and have no driver caps.

            I’ve since found a new cause. I’ll be dedicating my time to supporting Mr. Resnick, who is running for the mayorship of Madison, WI!


            Have a good week, Mr. “Honduras.”

          • Carl Honduras

            LOL,.. PLEASE DO give Scott Resnick support. He currently has 15% of the potential voter pool for his run. Its a shame that the Lyft and Uber reps who were supporting him at the council meetings neglected to show up at the meeting on the 24th to support his ordinance revision for TPCs. Might have something to do with two sex offenders and four fake plates showing up between Lyft and Uber in Madison in just the last month. Madison doesn’t allow anyone to drive for hire without insurance and we never will. Especially when the company putting them on our streets cant even do a simple sex offender check or ensure that a driver isnt using a fake plate.

          • Carl Honduras

            LOL.. Just last night here in Madison, One driver using both Lyft and Uber at the same time with a fake Wisconsin plate on the front of his SUV and a fake Illinois plate on the back and Another driving for both Lyft and Uber loitering in a University of Wisconsin parking lot. Lyft and Uber are just BEGGING for it at this point.

  • Kary

    What if the owner of the smartphone didn’t password protect their phone? Then the passenger could be anyone.

    • ejmalone

      Not really interested in exploring hypotheticals. Hopefully if someone loses their phone they disable it and the associated apps.

      • Kary

        LOL. Someone stupid enough not to protect their phone will know what to do after they lose it? The idea that these rideshare drivers know who they are picking up is laughable. But let’s just discount that because it’s “hypothetical.”

  • Tommy Blue-Eyes

    Fail on the headline. So in the past few years – this guy has noted a handful of bad things. There’s probably bad things that happen daily in one city on a bus or train or cab. For the most part, these systems are awesome, work well and connect like minded people. There will ALWAYS be some bad apple somewhere. But that’s for everything. Do you let the potential of some idiot keep you from doing anything? Or, just accept that it’s unlikely to happen and keep on truckin’….

  • Dennise Wolske


    Good post on stop smoking.

    Here is a health care search engine… , if you want you can submit your content to include in the search engine.


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