More Than 500 Women Sue Uber Over Sexual Assault, Rape, Kidnapping Claims

The class action lawsuit comes just two weeks after the company released a safety report that stated reports of sexual assault were down.

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More Than 500 Women Sue Uber Over Sexual Assault, Rape, Kidnapping Claims
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Just two weeks after Uber released its second safety report, which stated that reports of sexual assault were down, more than 500 women who say they were attacked or assaulted by their drivers are suing the company.

The class action lawsuit, which says that “women passengers in multiple states were kidnapped, sexually assaulted, sexually battered, raped, falsely imprisoned, stalked, harassed, or otherwise attacked” by their Uber drivers, was filed Wednesday at the San Francisco County Superior Court.

Uber’s latest safety report said the ride-sharing received over 3,800 complaints of sexual assaults from riders in 2019 and 2020—a 38 percent decrease from the first safety report which said it received over 5,900 complaints in 2017 and 2018.

“As early as 2014, Uber became aware that its drivers were sexually assaulting and raping female passengers; nevertheless, in the eight years since, sexual predators driving for Uber have continued to attack passengers, including the plaintiffs whose claims were alleged in today’s action,” states the press release from Slater Slater Schulman, the law firm handling the complaint. They added that aside from the 550 women currently included in the suit, there are at least 150 more cases being “actively investigated.”

Predictably, Uber’s response was nothing more than a few vague remarks listing all the ways in which they’re not failing their passengers. “There is nothing more important than safety, which is why Uber has built new safety features, established survivor-centric policies, and been more transparent about serious incidents,” the company said in a statement following the filing. “While we can’t comment on pending litigation, we will continue to keep safety at the heart of our work.”

Just weeks ago another ride-sharing app, Lyft, settled a lawsuit with its shareholders to the tune of $25 million, after shareholders accused the company of not being honest about their “safety problems.”

However, the settlement didn’t cover the 2019 lawsuit brought on by 14 women against Lyft who alleged they were raped and sexually assaulted by their drivers. Alison Turkos, one of the women who sued the company after being held at gunpoint by her Lyft driver before ending up in an abandoned park where she was gang-raped, confirmed to Jezebel that, unlike Lyft’s shareholders, she and the other plaintiffs never received any compensation for their pain and suffering.

“Shareholders quite literally profited off of my kidnapping, off of my multiple rapes, off of the violent crime that was committed against me,” she said. “Now, with this $25 million settlement, rich people are again getting richer because of what happened to me in 2017.”

Whether or not ride-sharing apps ever receive another sexual assault complaint, their priority should always be to prevent such reports, instead of just responding to them.

“There is so much more that Uber can be doing to protect riders: adding cameras to deter assaults, performing more robust background checks on drivers, creating a warning system when drivers don’t stay on a path to a destination,” Adam Slater, one of the firm’s founding partners, said in the press release. “Acknowledging the problem through safety reports is not enough. It is well past time for Uber to take concrete actions to protect its customers.”

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