Uber sued by women who allege they were raped by drivers

Andrew Cummings
November 15, 2017

Uber (Private:UBER) faces a USA class-action lawsuit from riders who allege they were subject to sexual assault or gender-based violence by Uber drivers.

The women, who are remaining anonymous, argue that due to an alleged lack of proper, thorough screenings by workers, certain customers of the service have been "subject to rape, sexual assault or gender-motivated violence or harassment by their Uber driver in the last four years". As alleged, the recent #MeToo campaign has exposed the heinous acts that female riders have been forced to endure during Uber rides.

The complaint argues that the victims' claims are not affected by arbitration clauses in Uber's terms of service with riders, because under California Supreme Court decisions, "Uber can not cause consumers to waive a statutory right to seek public injunctive relief in any forum".

"Had Uber not sacrificed passenger safety for the sake of profit and expansion, and actually cared about who it was employing to drive its vehicles, rather than being preoccupied with racing to control its share of the taxi market, at the expense of existing taxi companies and consumers, Plaintiffs herein and proposed Class members would not have been harmed", the complaint says. "These allegations are important to us and we take them very seriously", an Uber spokesperson said.

The suit was filed by Wigdor LLP, a NY law firm that has previously represented women who were allegedly victims of sexual violence at the hands of Uber drivers.

Uber, along with Lyft, in fact left Austin in 2015 after the city council approved an ordinance that required the companies to use fingerprint-based background checks for their drivers.

"Uber received this complaint today and we are in the process of reviewing it".

Uber has also been in contact with the Federal Bureau of Investigation after it turned out that the recent NY terror suspect was one of its drivers. After agreeing to let MA handle background checks on drivers, the state found that more than 10% of Uber and Lyft drivers did not make the cut.

Uber employs two million drivers worldwide, so it's inevitable that some of them will go on to commit crimes.

Uber asks its passengers to rate its drivers on a five-point scale, some say it could be doing more to encourage riders to report more detailed concerns.

It's been a tumultuous year for the ridesharing company.

The lawsuit describes all the access Uber provides for drivers to commit sexual assault. The fast-growing business faced a series of problems related to its public image.

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