When the news hit this week that Jason Dalton, the Uber driver who went on a killing rampage, was suing Uber for $10 million because the company “ruined his life,” it seemed like a particularly audacious legal maneuver given Dalton is currently charged with six counts of murder. The suit, picked up by the Associated Press, seemed too outlandish to be true, because, it was quickly discovered, it wasn’t true, the Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s office confirmed Thursday.
Whoever submitted the fake handwritten complaint, however, did go to the moderate lengths of including Dalton’s inmate number, which was enough to fool federal court workers into accepting and assigning it a case number. There were other pretty glaring inconsistencies: The handwritten complaint did not match Dalton’s handwriting; it got the length of his tenure as a driver incorrect; iit was postmarked from Philadelphia, not the Kalamazoo County Jail where Dalton is currently being held; and it was filed in the wrong federal district court.
The complaint itself listed pretty run of the mill gripes about Uber as an employer: “hostile workplace environment;” “they ripped me off;” “Uber treats their drivers like crap;” you know the drill. “I’m currently in prison because of Uber,” the fake complaint said. “My wife is divorcing me because of Uber.” Considering that Dalton told police at one point that the Uber app was controlling him and continued to take fares during the shooting spree, the issues taken with Uber seem suspiciously sane really.
“The phony lawsuit has baffled officials in the federal courthouse in downtown Detroit, where an internal investigation is under way to determine if any law was broken — and if so, what to do about it,” according to the Detroit Free Press.