Uber driver Paul DePinho was awarded $1.5 million in the California Supreme Court in a case brought by a passenger who said he was repeatedly punched by DePogo while riding on the company’s private bus.
The passenger, David Hernandez, said he had a history of substance abuse and alcohol abuse and was arrested for driving under the influence.
DePibu pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault, assault with a deadly weapon, battery on a public servant, resisting arrest, and driving while under the control of a controlled substance, according to court documents.
Depinho was released on his own recognizance, and Hernandez is free on bail pending his next court appearance, according a spokesperson for DePismo’s attorneys.
Uber did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Hernandez has filed a lawsuit against Uber alleging that DePiso punched him during a July 2015 incident.
He said DePico had a “long history of violence against drivers and passengers” and had been driving Uber’s private limousine service for six years before the incident, according the Los Angeles Times.
The company has denied any wrongdoing.
The case has drawn international attention.
In February, Uber released a video in which DePolini, who is black, said the ride-hailing service should “hire more African-Americans,” a reference to the recent wave of police killings of African-American men in Baltimore and other cities.
Uber is also facing criticism from lawmakers, including California’s Republican Gov.
Gavin Newsom, who announced in September that he would consider a bill that would require Uber to disclose “the number of employees, drivers, and passengers it employs in every city in the state.”
DePito, who has been with Uber since 2014, was a bus driver before the company acquired his company in 2016.
The video was shot by Hernandez and shared with reporters in December.
Hernandez’s lawyer did not respond to multiple requests for comment for this story.
In October, Hernandez sued Uber and DePivo on behalf of Hernandez, arguing that the driver punched Hernandez in the face and threw a bottle at his face during a June 2015 altercation on the Uber bus.
De Pito denied hitting Hernandez, saying he was trying to help Hernandez.
“It’s a complete fabrication, and he’s completely making it up,” Hernandez said at the time.
“There’s no way this could have happened.
He’s just being dishonest.”
De Piso was also a driver for Uber in Los Angeles and was involved in a similar altercation with a passenger on the same bus in September, when the passenger reportedly was pushed to the ground and was punched by the driver, according Uber.
“The passengers involved were in shock and they were scared,” Hernandez’s attorney said at that time.
The lawsuit also alleges that De Pico punched Hernandez on the head, head and face in July 2015 while the bus was stopped in a Los Angeles parking lot.
Hernandez said he received bruises on his forehead and face, according with the lawsuit.
In a statement, Uber said it was committed to ensuring the safety of our drivers and riders, and that the company takes the allegations seriously.
“We have zero tolerance for the behavior and harassment of anyone on our team and we have reached out to our driver, Paul De Patto, to offer support and offer assistance in this matter,” Uber said in a statement.
“Paul De Polini has been a valued member of our team since day one, and we stand by him in any way possible.
Uber does not tolerate violence against anyone in our industry and is committed to working with law enforcement and authorities to address the incident in question.”
De Blasio on Thursday called for Uber to “rebuild trust” with drivers and customers in a blog post.
“Uber’s public relations has been plagued by a number of misleading claims that have resulted in customers being harmed, and drivers getting paid less than they deserve,” he wrote.
“I want to apologize for Uber’s failures in its public relations efforts over the last year, and I want to commit to making sure that all drivers and all riders get the support they deserve, in order to ensure the safety and well-being of everyone on our buses and streets.”