Uber sued by women who allege they were raped by drivers

Uber Sued by Two Women Who Say They Were Sexually Assaulted by Drivers

Two women filed a lawsuit [complaint, PDF] against Uber on Tuesday in a San Francisco federal court alleging that they had been sexually assaulted by their Uber drivers.

Uber said it is reviewing the complaint and that the allegations are important and will be taken seriously.

The lawsuit suggests a few ways in which Uber can better address sexual violence and harassment against women after it has already occurred.

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".

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. Jane Doe 1 claims that a Uber driver in Miami who had previously been charged with a felony carried her to her bed upon driving her home. The suit alleges that Uber has been resorting to "wilful blindness in hiring and supervising drivers". Uber must make drastic changes to prevent another female rider from harm.

"Uber has created a system for bad actors to gain access to vulnerable victims", the lawsuit states.

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The lawsuit argues that company's label as a "technology platform", rather than a transportation company, allows it to "skirt state and local regulatory scrutiny" and avoid investing in screening drivers. "This is no longer an issue of "rogue" drivers who act unlawfully".

"The lawsuit seeks possible remedies to the abuse, including requiring all Uber drivers to undergo in person screenings, installing video cameras in all Uber cars, performing national background checks on drivers every six months, etc".

The other plaintiff, a Los Angeles resident, was also intoxicated when she booked an Uber ride to take her home from a restaurant in January 2017.

Internal customer support documents obtained from Uber in 2016 showed that more than 6,000 driver or rider complaints include the term "sexual assault", although Uber claims the actual number of assaults is far lower.

Uber recently pledged $5 million in funding for programmatic partnerships focused on sexual assault prevention, and added in a November blog post that it would implement "employee education and training". The Uber driver was charged with "Rape by use of drugs".

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