Uber sued by more than 500 women over sexual assault and kidnapping claims

Uber is dealing with a lawsuit filed by greater than 500 girls who allege they have been assaulted by drivers, CNBC has reported. The grievance states that “girls passengers in a number of states have been kidnapped, sexually assaulted, sexually battered, raped, falsely imprisoned, stalked, harassed, or in any other case attacked,” by Uber drivers. The San Francisco regulation agency that filed the swimsuit mentioned it has about 550 shoppers with at the very least one other 150 claims being investigated.

Earlier this month, Uber launched its second security report exhibiting that sexual assault reviews within the 5 most extreme classes fell 38 % from 5,981 in 2017 and 2018 to three,824 for the years 2019 and 2020. Nonetheless, which may be correlated with the COVID-19 pandemic which noticed a extreme drop in ridership from 2020-2021. “We’re consistently innovating and investing within the security of our platform,” Uber chief authorized officer Tony West wrote within the report.

Nonetheless, the regulation agency mentioned that security just isn’t the corporate’s highest precedence. “Uber’s complete enterprise mannequin is based on giving folks a secure experience dwelling, however rider security was by no means their concern – progress was, on the expense of their passengers’ security,” mentioned Slater Slater Schulman LLP founding companion Adam Slater. “Whereas the corporate has acknowledged this disaster of sexual assault lately, its precise response has been sluggish and insufficient, with horrific penalties.”

The regulation agency criticized Uber for lax insurance policies associated to driver background checks and enforcement. It famous that Uber has “opted to rent drivers with out fingerprinting them or working their info by FBI databases… [and] has a longstanding coverage that it’s going to not report any prison exercise – even assaults and rape – to law-enforcement authorities.”

Uber has but to reply to the lawsuit, however Engadget has reached out for remark. An Uber spokesperson informed Fox Enterprise that it might probably’t touch upon pending litigation, however that the corporate “takes reviews of this nature very severely and has labored intently with advocates to develop a survivor-centric method to dealing with such instances once they come up.”

Uber has a historical past of settlements and complaints associated to passenger and driver security. In 2016, The Guardian reported that Uber had paid out $161.9 million in safety-related lawsuits since 2009. In 2017, it confronted a class-action lawsuit accusing it of “giving perpetrators of sexual assault, sexual harassment and bodily violence entry to hundreds of ‘weak victims’ nationwide. ” And in 2019, the corporate was sued for $10 million by a girl who was sexually assaulted by an Uber driver, saying the corporate put her in hurt’s manner.

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