Helen Stamp


When Elaine Herzberg was struck and killed by an Uber autonomous vehicle on a public road in Arizona in 2018, sole criminal responsibility fell on the Uber employee operating the vehicle. Uber escaped all criminal accountability despite evidence of flawed vehicle technology and Uber’s non-existent safety culture. This lack of accountability is confronting given that legislators and courts in Arizona, and in other States, have consistently supported criminal sanctions for corporations who are culpable for the offense of negligent homicide.

The criminal proceedings against the Uber vehicle operator were settled in July 2023, closing off the court’s ability to consider Uber’s contribution to the death of Herzberg. This paper provides an alternative forum to demonstrate, through doctrinal analysis, that Uber should have been prosecuted for negligent homicide. The accelerating divergence between the law and actual corporate prosecutions due to innovative technologies and Big Tech is also considered.

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Criminal Law Commons