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Parents Target Uber After 12-Year-Old Kills Herself

Benita Diamond's family says ride-sharing company should never have transported her to suicide site
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 8, 2019 7:30 AM CDT
In this May 30, 2019, file photo, the logo for Uber appears above a trading post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.   (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

(Newser) – Uber has a clear-cut policy listed on its site about transporting minors: If you're under 18, you can't ride without someone 18 or over, and drivers should turn away anyone they think might be underage. That policy is why a Florida mom and dad are now urging the ride-sharing company and others like it to enforce that policy, and they're considering suing, after their 12-year-daughter, Benita "BB" Diamond, called in January for an Uber, which dropped her off behind Orlando's City Hall, per KCCI and WESH 2 News. Benita then went to the top of a nine-story parking garage and jumped off. "If Uber had followed their policy, without a doubt our daughter would still be here," says her father, Ronald Diamond. Benita's family says she was never permitted to use any ride-sharing apps, but a few days before the night of her suicide, she downloaded the app on her mother's phone, per Newsweek.

Then, on Jan. 10, Benita called for an Uber, having the driver pick her up in the middle of the night in an empty lot near her home, paying the driver with a gift card from Christmas, her family says. "The Uber driver ... did not ask any [questions] about her age, did not question why she was by herself, did not question the drop-off destination, which is downtown on a corner of the street," says her mother, Lisha Chen, adding the family had no idea Benita was suicidal. Business Insider reports "many drivers" have mentioned to it that minors trying to hail Uber rides is a "massive problem." Diamond says his daughter left behind a note in which she said she was "past the point of no return." "Uber took my daughter past the point of no return," her father says, per the Orlando Sentinel. "Nobody else did. We didn't." An Uber rep says within the past six months, no such incident had been reported to it, but now that the company knows about it, there will be an investigation and "appropriate action." (Read more Uber stories.)

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