Uber sued by women who allege they were raped by drivers
- Author: Eleanor Harrison Nov 16, 2017,
Nov 16, 2017, 1:41
Two anonymous women filed a complaint against Uber in a Northern California district court on Tuesday, with hopes of attaining class-action status on behalf of customers in the U.S. who were "subject to rape, sexual assault, physical violence or gender-motivated violence or harassment by their Uber driver in the last four years". They are seeking substantial changes to how Uber vets its drivers, according to Recode, as well as compensation for instances of rape they themselves allegedly experienced.
The two plaintiffs allege that Uber, in attempting to keep profits high, has not screened or monitored drivers properly.
"We are confident that a jury will hold Uber accountable for this horrific and senseless violence", the plaintiff's attorney Jeanne M. Christensen said.
It claims Uber not only failed to warn passengers about its flawed background checks, but that it doesn't adequately track its drivers' conduct after they're hired.
It reads "since Uber launched in 2010, thousands of female passengers have endured unlawful conduct by their Uber drivers including rape, sexual assault, physical violence and gender-motivated harassment". "Nothing meaningful has been done to make rides safer for passengers - especially women".
The complaint noted that drivers for California-based private transportation carriers, where Uber is based, must meet higher standards for "duty of care".
"This is no longer an issue of "rogue" drivers who act unlawfully", reads the suit.
One of the reasons Uber's background checks on drivers are so faulty is keeping costs down, women allege. "Uber has created a system for bad actors to gain access to vulnerable victims".
Uber was not immediately available for comment. It remains unclear exactly what that training includes, specifically as it relates to Uber drivers.
It asks the court for unspecified damages to compensate the women, and also seeks court-ordered safety measures including fingerprint background checks for drivers and a panic button on the Uber app that would alert the company and authorities to safety problems. He was arrested and charged with two counts of sexual battery, and Uber refunded her $9.51 for the ride.