Hundreds of Women File Civil Lawsuits Against Uber Claiming Uber Drivers Attacked Them
According to an ABC online news report, hundreds of women have filed civil lawsuits against Uber, asserting that Uber drivers attacked them. The victims, who are living in several different states, claim that they were raped, kidnapped, sexually battered, sexually assaulted, stalked, falsely imprisoned, attacked, and harassed by Uber drivers whom they hired off of Uber's rideshare application. The news report states that the abuse began in 2015 and continued into 2022.
The allegations came about two weeks after Uber published its safety report that showed more than 3,800 incidences of sexual assault back in 2019 and 2020. The incidents ranged from "non-consensual sexual penetration" to "non-consensual kissing of a non-sexual body part." Uber reported in a previous safety report that the number of sexual assaults reported declined by 38% in 2017 and 2018.
Uber's new safety report admits that the amount of sexual assault claims may have been caused by a shift in usage during the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, Uber bookings declined by 73% for three months ending in June 2020 compared to the same period the year before.
The lawsuits state that Uber's business model is providing safe rides for their customers. However, the company acknowledges that thousands of customers complained of sexual assaults. The complaints state that Uber's response has been both inadequate and slow, resulting in horrendous consequences to their female customers.
Uber provided a statement to ABC News stating that customer safety is their top priority. Uber also said that Uber had addressed the issue with new safety features, created new survivor-centric policies, and it would be more transparent about "serious" incidents. Uber refused to comment on pending litigation filed against them. Uber stated that it would perform background checks for prospective Uber drivers, created new tools for passengers within its app, and now has a customer emergency response feature. The feature allows both passengers and drivers to audio record the trip for safety purposes.
According to the ABC News report, Uber admitted that the company was not "immune to this deeply rooted problem of sexual assault" back in 2018.
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