A former California Taco Bell executive who was caught on camera attacking an Uber driver is now suing the driver for $5 million, saying he illegally recorded the assault (video below).
Benjamin Golden, 32, was fired from Taco Bell after he was charged with multiple misdemeanors of assault and battery against Uber driver Edward Caban, 23, during a trip in Costa Mesa, California, CNBC reports.
The video of the attack later surfaced on YouTube. It shows Golden slap and hit Caban on the head several times while swearing at him, after he is asked to get out of the car because he is too drunk to give directions.
In his lawsuit, Golden claims the video was shot without his consent in violation of California law, and that Caban should be held responsible for injuries he suffered during their October 2015 altercation.
Golden’s lawyer, Courtney Pilchman, plans to inform prosecutors that she will seek to have the video barred from evidence in the criminal case Caban has filed.
Caban filed his lawsuit three days after the video was posted online, accusing Golden of assault and infliction of emotional distress. He quit his job at Uber following the attack and says in his lawsuit that he has post-traumatic stress syndrome and lives in fear because of the attack.
Caban contends that he did tell Golden the ride was being recorded.
He seeks damages in excess of $25,000 for assault, battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and negligent infliction of emotional distress, KABC reported.
Pilchman told CNBC that Caban is “quite the opportunist," and that “there’s very little truth to the damages that he claims.”
"I don't believe he has any of those," Pilchman said.
Caban’s lawyer Rivers Morrell III told CNBC Golden’s claims are “disingenuous” and “totally bogus.”
In November 2015, Golden released a statement through his attorney’s stating he “accepts full responsibility for his actions and understands the consequences that may occur as a result.”
He has obviously changed his mind and is no longer “extremely remorseful” or wanting to “sincerely apologize,” as his lawyer’s previously claimed.
In Golden’s lawsuit, the unnamed other parties who posted the video to YouTube are also being sued.
He says that because of the “overwhelming media coverage” of the video, he “has suffered severe emotional distress, humiliation, anxiety, fear, pain and suffering and the loss of his job.”