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'Serious and permanent brain damage' | Uber named in lawsuit related to alleged hit-and-run that left Houston engineer disabled

Uber claims it's ready to provide information to authorities but won't comment on pending litigation.

HOUSTON, Texas — Joaquin Iraheta, 34, was once a successful electrical engineer with an energy company.

But, after being severely injured, his family said he will likely never work again or live independently.

"Memory issues," Iraheta said when asked what's been most difficult for him.  "That’s been a big one.”

Iraheta was only able to answer a couple of questions during a news conference Thursday with his parents and attorney. During the conference, they spoke about a lawsuit filed against Uber and Shot Bar in Midtown, outside of which Iraheta was severely injured last July.

“I just want justice because this is not fair,” his mother, Ana Iraheta, said.

According to the lawsuit, Iraheta and his brother called an Uber after a night of drinking, but the driver ended up striking him before leaving the scene along Bagby Street.

"His brother’s memory is that the Uber driver ran Joaquin over,” attorney Mo Aziz said.

According to the lawsuit, Uber has failed to provide detailed information about the driver, including his name.

It's something that allegedly disappeared from Iraheta’s Uber app while he was hospitalized for six months, including a time in a coma.

"What makes this case unique, from my perspective," said Aziz.  "Is the complete lack of transparency that we have seen from Uber.”

The company would not comment on pending litigation. However, Uber did provide a statement.

“Joaquin’s injuries are heart-wrenching," an Uber spokesperson said.  "Our thoughts are with the family as they cope and continue to search for justice." 

"We stand ready to assist law enforcement with their investigation,” the spokesperson continued.

Meanwhile, the lawsuit seeks more than a million dollars in damages to help with, among other things, Iraheta’s lifetime requirement for care.

"There’s nothing promised," said Iraheta's mother.  "I don’t even know what’s going to happen for the future.”

Houston police said they did open an investigation back in July but it does not appear as if anyone was ever charged and it's unclear if HPD requested information from Uber.

KHOU 11 also reached out to Shot Bar, which is accused in the lawsuit of overserving Iraheta, but we have not heard back.

Update Friday 2/3: Uber says based on their information, they don’t believe the driver was in the area at the time of the incident.  They also said they’d release that trip information to police, but say that so far, police haven’t requested it.

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