Uber Driver Sues Ex-Taco Bell Exec, and Vice Versa

A former Taco Bell executive by the name of Benjamin Golden who was fired after a video of him went viral assaulting an Uber driver, has now filed a lawsuit for $5 million against the transportation company. This bizarre case was a response to the $25,000 lawsuit filed by the Uber driver, Edward Caban, who is shown in a dashcam video being slapped and hit by Golden, last year.

Last October, Mr. Golden allegedly got into an Uber driven by Mr. Caban, in Costa Mesa, California. He was ordered out of Caban’s vehicle for being too inebriated to give directions.  The dashcam video from Caban’s car shows Mr. Golden getting angry, and then beginning to strike Caban from the back seat and slamming his head against a window. Mr. Caban used pepper spray to fend Mr. Golden off, and subsequently posted the footage online.  It later went viral, and Mr. Golden was terminated by Taco Bell.

Golden has been charged with assault and battery by the Orange County District Attorney.  Golden has pleaded not guilty, and decided to file a counter-suit, claiming that he “fear[ed] for his safety and well-being” after being ejected from the vehicle and has “suffered severe emotional distress, humiliation, anxiety, fear, pain and suffering and the loss of his job.” Mr. Golden claims that Mr. Caban did not have a right to record him, and he is claiming “invasion of privacy, negligent infliction of emotional distress, intentional infliction of emotional distress, assault and battery.”

California’s Video Recording Consent Law

California makes it a crime to record or eavesdrop on any confidential communication, including a private conversation or telephone call, without the consent of all parties to the conversation. See Cal. Penal Code § 632. However, the caveat is that the statute applies to “confidential communications,” which means one of the parties must have an objectively reasonable expectation that no one is listening or watching. If you are recording someone without his or her permission/knowledge in a semi-public area such as a street or restaurant, one’s expectation of privacy depends on the specific circumstances.

Violation of California’s eavesdropping law can either be a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the circumstances of the case. If tried as a misdemeanor you face up to $2,500 in fines and up to one year imprisonment. If tried as a felony, you face up to three years imprisonment and a $2,500 fine.

San Diego Criminal Defense Attorney

In the age of social media and technology, an argument can be made that anyone who hops into a cab or Uber car may reasonably be expected to be recorded on a dashcam. At the Law Offices of David M. Boertje we will defend your rights to look out for your own security. If you have been charged with eavesdropping or unlawful recording, contact our law firm today. We will fight for you.