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Attorneys Say Pressure To Deliver Caused Uber Eats Driver's Crash That Resulted In South Florida Teen's Death

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Friends and loved ones gathered Wednesday to honor a South Florida teen, killed just off the University of Florida's campus.

Rabbi Jonah Zinn is speaking out on behalf of the heartbroken family of Sophia Lambert.

The Pinecrest teen, who was a freshman at UF, was killed in Gainesville in January when she was hit by a car.

"We cannot change what happened," said Rabbi Jonah Zinn. "We cannot bring back our beautiful and vibrant Sophia. We cannot stop the pain caused by our daughter's senseless death."

At a news conference, friends wore masks and carried signs remembering Sophia and another freshman who died a month earlier.

"We are here today to show our support for Sophia Lambert and Maggie Paxton to insure not one more life is taken on University Avenue," said Kailey Kiss.

Coral Gables attorneys Stuart Grossman and William Mulligan represent both victims.

They told CBS4's Ted Scouten that Lambert died after she was hit by an Uber Eats driver. The attorneys said that driver first collided with another car, which sent him into a group of teens on the sidewalk, including Lambert.

"While they were waiting on the sidewalk, you have an Uber Eats driver, which is Benjamin Piper, that was trying to beat the light at 17th and University," said Mulligan.

Mulligan said that's when the two drivers collided, killing Sophia. Now, the family is suing Uber Eats and others for wrongful death.

"They control these people, they're almost robotic. The Uber drivers are under a lot of pressure to speed up to go faster because their income depends on it.  That's the way the system works, it's outrageous," said Grossman.

The suit claims, among other things, that Uber Eats was negligent, alleging the driver was "...not qualified, had not received sufficient training and was not being properly supervised or observed..."

They're also demanding change to how the service operates.

"There's no incentive for the Uber drivers to be driving safe," Mulligan said. "Their incentive is to be driving fast, pick up the Uber Eats deliveries as soon as they can and drop them off as soon as they can. Because the more delivers the more money to the driver and to Uber."

CBS4 reached out to Uber Eats. They said they're committed to road safety, but cannot comment because of the pending lawsuit.

Gainesville police said this is still an ongoing investigation and at this time there have been no arrests or citations.

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