Lawsuit Filed by Women Against Uber in California Seeks Class Action Status
Two women are seeking class action status for a lawsuit against Uber seeking to improve practices like driver screening on behalf of riders who may have been subjected to “rape, sexual assault or gender-motivated violence or harassment” in the past four years. According to an NBC news report, the lawsuit that was filed in the Northern District of California seeks class action status and compensation for alleged rapes suffered by the anonymous women who filed the lawsuit – one from Miami and another from Los Angeles.
Weak Background Checks
The women claim that they were sexually assaulted by their respective Uber drivers and claim that the company engaged in “fraudulent and unfair practices” such as leading them to believe that their drivers would safely bring them to their destinations. The lawsuit also states that the ridesharing company misrepresents the safety of being an Uber passenger in general. The women also allege that Uber has created a system for “bad actors” to gain access to vulnerable victims by trapping passengers in vehicles where drivers have the ability to “commit physical and sexual violence without witnesses.”
The lawsuit also cites the Oct. 31 terrorist attack in New York City in which 29-year-old Sayfullo Saipov drove down a crowded bike path in Lower Manhattan, killing eight people and injuring almost a dozen others. Saipov was registered as an Uber driver after passing a background check and previously drove for Uber in Florida and New Jersey. The lawsuit, in addition cites a February 2016 incident in which Jason Brian Dalton, a 45-year-old Uber driver in Michigan opened fire on unsuspecting victims as he was picking up passengers. Dalton had passed Uber’s background checks as well.
Uber Has a Responsibility
Uber often calls itself a tech company and constantly denies being a transportation company. Regardless of its preferred label, there is no denying that fact that as a company, it needs to take responsibility for the safety of its riders. Uber does have that duty of care that public and private carriers do – which is to safely transport passengers to their respective destinations. To this end, they must conduct thorough background checks of their drivers and take responsibility for incidents that might occur.
We hope this lawsuit and others like it motivate Uber and other ridesharing companies to take a close look at their safety protocols and what more they can do to keep their riders safe.