A jury ordered a cab company to pay $300,000 to a woman taken on a terrifying ride by one of its drivers. In 2007, Amanda Parks, then 23, hailed a Greater Houston Transportation cab and asked the driver, Ricardo Steel, to take her to Kingwood. When she noticed Steel drive past her exit, Parks became nervous and attempted to call police. At that point, she alleged Steel shoved her, grabbed her phone and threatened to rape her. She escaped by jumping out of the moving cab. Steel was later arrested and it was discovered that he had served multiple prison terms for a number of felonies, including assault. Parks blamed Greater Houston for the incident, which she said resulted in post-traumatic stress syndrome, alleging it should have done a criminal background check before hiring Steel as an independent contractor. Greater Houston denied liability, arguing Steel had a permit from the city of Houston, which requires background checks.
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