The California Public Utilities Commission previously recommended that Uber, Lyft and similar services have $1 million in coverage during the times when their apps are in operation. On Tuesday, however, Commissioner Michael Peevey cut the required coverage by 90 percent to $100,000.
Liu family attorney Christopher Dolan called the amendment a “corporate Christmas present for Uber and Lyft giving them the ability to rake in huge profits while leaving Californians to pick up the tab when their drivers cause injury and death.”
The commission, Dolan claimed, “has caved to the large financial interest” of transportation network companies, which it has assumed oversight of since September.
“Apparently Peevey thinks what’s best for California is for a multi-billion dollar company like Uber to make huge profits for a few shareholders and high paid tech workers,” Dolan stated.
Uber spokeswoman Eva Behrend responded to Dolan's comments by claiming that companies like hers have "forever changed the transportation landscape in California."
"Uber has been engaged with the CPUC from the beginning, which has shaped regulations that protect and benefit consumers," she said in an email. "This process has resulted in best-in-class insurance coverage for drivers and unprecedented reliability for riders. We look forward to continuing to work with the CPUC as these regulations evolve.”
Soon after Liu was killed by an Uber driver in the Tenderloin, the billion-dollar tech company denied responsibility, claiming that the driver was not on a paid fare when the collision occurred.