Uber facing lawsuit alleging 'thousands' of instances of sexual assault

Uber facing lawsuit alleging 'thousands' of instances of sexual assault

Each alleges being sexually assaulted by Uber drivers who gave them rides home.

The driver, Nimer Abdallah, carried the woman - who was barely conscious after having two drinks - upstairs to her apartment and allegedly raped her, the lawsuit states.

As Recode reports, the complaint states that the plaintiffs were misled to believing that Uber drivers would safely take them to their destinations, and that the company engaged in "unlawful" and "fraudulent" conduct to misrepresent the safety of such transport.

"The company must come forward with information about how many reports it has received about rapes, sexual assaults, and gender-motivated harassment to allow consumers to assess whether Uber really does provide safe rides, especially to women", Christensen said in a statement.

Internal customer support documents obtained from Uber in 2016 showed that more than 6,000 driver or rider complaints include the term "sexual assault", although Uber claims the actual number of assaults is far lower.




The lawsuit suggests a few ways in which Uber can better address sexual violence and harassment against women after it has already occurred.

The women's lawyers claim that Uber's "false representations" of the safety of its service resulted in great threats to their clients' well-being and safety. The plaintiffs insisted that these issues are affecting legitimate drivers, not the "rogue" ones. "Nothing meaningful has been done to make rides safer for passengers - especially women".

One of the reasons Uber's background checks on drivers are so faulty is keeping costs down, women allege. "Uber has created a system for bad actors to gain access to vulnerable victims. Specifically, drivers have the means and opportunity to veer off route without detection, trap passengers inside their vehicles and commit physical and sexual violence without witnesses", the suit reads. Uber has also installed dashboard cameras in cars in South Africa, following numerous reports of rape in the country. Uber has attempted to publicly boost its reputation through a recent donation to sexual assault and domestic violence prevention programs.

Uber on the other hand is not required to meet that standard since it is not required to be licensed as a private transportation carrier, claims the complaint.

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