Lawsuits

Drunken Exec Who Punched Uber Driver in Viral Video Is Suing the Driver for $5 Million

Drunken Exec Who Punched Uber Driver in Viral Video Is Suing the Driver for $5 Million
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Perhaps we shouldn't be surprised that someone made famous by the most boorish and bro-ish of behaviors sees no problem with doubling down on being perceived as an irretrievable idiot.

Former Taco Bell digital executive Benjamin Golden, 32, has filed a $5 million lawsuit against Uber driver Edward Caban, the man he beat in a drunken rage in a dashcam video that quickly went viral

The reasons for Golden's act of legal chutzpah are many. First, Golden claims the video was an illegal recording, so shouldn't be used as evidence. Golden also says he shouldn't be liable for the injuries he inflicted on Caban. In fact, Golden claims he is the victim: Since the video of his October 30 behavior was so widely seen, he's suffered from "emotional distress and anxiety" and lost his job.

Finally, Golden says Caban is to blame, not him, since Caban never should have driven someone who was so apparently wasted. In short, Caban had it coming.

Golden's lawsuit was first reported by CNBC.

As seen in the video, Golden was incoherent through the short ride in Orange County, California, and only offered Caban vague and sometimes contradictory directions on where he wanted to be taken. Concerned, Caban turned his dashcam around to film the interior of his car, then pulled over to end the ride. When Golden refused, Caban told him he needed to get out or he would call the police.

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Golden started to get out, but leaned back in and began punching Caban in the head and pulling his hair, amid a stream of expletives. Caban pepper-sprayed Golden, who then left the vehicle. Caban asked for bystanders to call the police, and Golden was arrested and charged with assault and public intoxication.

The video was a viral sensation. It didn't take long for Taco Bell to fire Golden, who headed up the company's global ecommerce and innovation operations. "Given the behavior of the individual, it is clear he can no longer work for us. We have also offered and encouraged him to seek professional help."

Ironically, whle Golden wants the video to no longer be submitted into evidence, it's apparently Golden's only knowledge the event even happened. Courtney Pilchman, one of Golden's attorneys, said shortly after the incident that he "does not remember the event. He didn't know exactly what he was arrested for. He has seen the video, but he has no recollection of it."

In light of the $5 million lawsuit against Caban, Golden also apparently has no recollection of another statement Pilchman made on behalf of her client just after the attack: "Mr. Golden accepts full responsibility for his actions and understands the consequences that may occur as a result."

For his part, Caban sued Golden and left his job as an Uber driver right after the assault.

Related: Uber Is Giving Free Rides in This Town to Curb Drunk Driving