Uber sued by hundreds of women
A lawsuit filed on behalf of more than 500 female clients claims that firm prioritized growth over passenger safety
More than 500 women claim that they were attacked by Uber drivers, according to a lawsuit, brought against the popular ride-hailing platform by a US law firm on Wednesday.
The complaint filed in San Francisco County Superior Court, alleges that female passengers in multiple states “were kidnapped, sexually assaulted, sexually battered, raped, falsely imprisoned, stalked, harassed, or otherwise attacked by Uber drivers.”
“Slater Slater Schulman LLP has approximately 550 clients with claims against Uber, with at least 150 more being actively investigated,” the firm that brought the action said.
It claims that since 2014, when Uber became aware of the fact that its drivers “were sexually assaulting and raping female passengers,” not much has changed. This is due to the company’s alleged “prioritization of growth over customer safety,” the law firm said.
It blamed the tech giant for eschewing “traditional background check standards,” for failing to report any criminal activity to police and for not installing video cameras in the cars.
“It is well past time for Uber to take concrete actions to protect its customers,” lawyer Adam Slater said.
Uber has not commented yet on the lawsuit, which was filed about two weeks after the publication of its Second US Safety Report.
In it the company stressed that it had “remained steadfast” in fulfilling its commitments regarding passenger safety. According to the document, in 2019 and 2020, the company received 3,824 reports across “the five most severe categories of sexual assault and misconduct.”
“Compared to the first Safety Report, which covered 2017 and 2018, the rate of sexual assault reported on the Uber app decreased by 38%,” Uber said.
The company has also been in the world media headlines, over the so-called ‘Uber Files’ –leaked company documents uncovered by Britain’s Guardian newspaper. They exposed its alleged secretive deals with governments and attempts to thwart police investigations. They also revealed that Uber executives saw themselves as “pirates” taking over the transportation industry, with help from high-profile friends.
Uber responded to the revelations by claiming that it had moved on “from an era of confrontation to one of collaboration, demonstrating a willingness to come to the table and find common ground with former opponents.”
Uber also stressed that it had invested heavily in safety. Saying that it “will not make excuses for past behavior,” the company asked the public to judge it by what it has done over the last five years and by what it will do in the future.