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Uber Faces Class Action Over Alleged Widespread Driver Sexual Assault

Uber Faces Class Action Over Alleged Widespread Driver Sexual Assault

Two women, who have chosen to remain anonymous, filed a class action lawsuit against Uber Tuesday, claiming the ride-hailing company is responsible for not holding proper background checks on drivers who allegedly sexually assaulted both of the women on separate occasions.

An Uber spokesperson said: "These allegations are important to us and we take them very seriously". The women further claim the company generally misrepresented the safety of taking an Uber.

The complaint contends that Uber is putting thousands of women at risk of being attacked by Uber drivers because the company has prioritized growth over safety.

"On notice of the magnitude of the number of passengers who have experienced sexual harassment and gender-based violence, Uber should have made drastic changes to the way that it screens and monitors drivers", says the complaint, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

Earlier this year, a woman raped by an Uber driver in India sued the company.

Those newly banned drivers had passed both Uber and Lyft's company screenings.




However, the case hinges on issues the ride-hail company, which is no stranger to legal battles, has long fought across the globe: Background checks and being treated like other for-hire companies.

Uber has successfully opposed state or national attempts at mandating fingerprint background checks in many markets, with the notable exception of NY and London.

"To skirt state and local regulatory scrutiny, Uber labels itself a "technology platform" company rather than a "transportation" company", the complaint reads.

The lawsuit was filed by the NY firm Wigdor LLP, which is suing Uber in a separate case on behalf of a woman who was raped by an Uber driver in India.

The complaint argues that the victims' claims are not affected by arbitration clauses in Uber's terms of service with riders, because under California Supreme Court decisions, "Uber can not cause consumers to waive a statutory right to seek public injunctive relief in any forum". The executive named Eric Alexander, who has since been fired, carted those files around for a year. It's unclear whether Uber received complaints specific to these drivers. Uber says the groups have helped it train 150 customer service agents for a team to deal with sexual assault reports.


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