A lawsuit has been filed against Checker Cabs by a Calgary man who claims he was beaten by his driver so badly that it left him in a coma.
The incident is alleged to have happened on May 8 at a Centex gas station on Edmonton Trail N.E.
A police release issued in May said officers arrived at the scene just before 10 p.m. to find a man in life-threatening condition after he had apparently been hit in the head with a blunt object.
In court documents filed in the Court of Queen’s Bench, the passenger, Masoud Ahmadi, alleges he was repeatedly hit in the head with a pylon, punched and kicked.
Ahmadi is seeking $250,000 in damages, alleging he suffered multiple injuries, including a skull fracture and brain hemorrhaging that required a craniectomy, leaving him with PTSD, night terrors and memory and concentration difficulties.
According to a statement of claim, Ahmadi was using a Checker Cab to run errands when, at around 10 p.m., his driver confronted him about his fare while he was in the back seat of the cab.
It says the driver, Hintsa Oqubu, pulled the cab into the parking lot of the gas station, then “suddenly and without warning” assaulted Ahmadi as he exited the vehicle to meet a friend.
Police arrested Oqubu at the scene and charged him with one count of assault with a weapon.
Due to his injuries, Ahmadi hasn’t been able to return to work and has had to receive physiotherapy, chiropractic and medical treatment, the statement claims.
The statement goes on to allege that Checker Cabs failed to equip the cab with functioning interior and exterior video security, nor did they ensure Oqubu had no prior criminal record for assault and battery, or any other offence, before employing him as a driver.
None of the allegations within the statement of claim has been proven in court, and Checker Cabs Ltd. has yet to file a statement of defence, telling Global News they have not yet been served.
In May, Checker Cabs spokesperson Kurt Enders told Global News that “the passenger was the first to start the assault on the driver in the vehicle.”
In an emailed statement on Thursday, Enders said Oqubu was terminated from his job at Checker Cabs following an immediate suspension after the incident.
“According to video footage, the customer first started the altercation by striking the driver while inside the vehicle,” he said.
BELOW: Statement of Claim against Checker Cabs Ltd., Hinta Oqubu and John Doe