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Uber faces class-action lawsuit over sexual assault by drivers

16 November, 2017, 01:38 | Author: Samuel Sharp
  • Uber cars appear in San Francisco Calif. in this undated image

The two plaintiffs, known as Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 2, are asking the court to order the ride-hailing company to strengthen many of its driver screening practices, reported Recode, a technology news site.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of all USA riders who were "subject to rape, sexual assault, or gender-motivated violence or harassment by their Uber driver in the last four years".

It goes on to say that Uber has failed to address the assault allegations by enforcing stricter regulations on drivers, but instead has prioritized keeping operating costs low for the company. They also allege Uber misrepresented the safety of using the service. "These allegations are important to us and we take them very seriously", an Uber spokesperson said.

One of the lawsuit's primary complaints is that Uber fails to do adequate background checks on drivers.

The lawsuit by women alleges that they were assaulted by Uber's drivers and claims that the ride-hail company has engaged in unlawful and fraudulent conduct that misguided them into believing their drivers would safely transport them.

"The company must come forward with information about how many reports it has received about rapes, sexual assaults, and gender-motivated harassment to allow consumers to assess whether Uber really does provide safe rides, especially to women", Christensen said, ABC News reports.


Complaints about the validity of Uber's background checks is nothing new, of course.

Uber was not immediately available for comment. "Nothing meaningful has been done to make rides safer for passengers - especially women".

One of the women, who lives in Florida, claims that she was raped by an Uber driver in October 2016.

The complaint noted that drivers for California-based private transportation carriers, where Uber is based, must meet higher standards for "duty of care".

It seeks safety measures including driver background checks using fingerprints and a panic button for the Uber app that alerts the company and police. "Specifically drivers have the means and opportunity to veer off route without detection, trap passengers inside their vehicles and commit physical and sexual violence without witnesses". The other was raped by an Uber driver in her apartment in Miami. Abdallah was arrested that month and charged with two counts of sexual battery, according to the lawsuit.

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