Uber hit with lawsuit by 500 women over allegations of sexual assault
SAN FRANCISCO - The ride-sharing giant Uber was hit with a lawsuit from hundreds of woman who allege they were sexually assaulted by the company's drivers.
A lawsuit filed on behalf of 550 woman alleges that the plaintiffs were attacked while utilizing the company's services.
The complaint filed in San Francisco Superior Court alleges a wide range of crimes in several states, which include rape, sexual assault and battery, kidnapping, false imprisonment, stalking and harassment.
The law firm Slater Slater Schulman LLP is representing the women.
"But for Uber, these women would have never gotten in this car, and they never would have been sexually assaulted," said attorney Adam Slater.
In June, Uber released a 2020 report declaring 998 sexual assaults, of which 141 were rapes. Since 2019, Uber has racked up 3,824 reports of just the top five severe sexual assault categories. From 2017 to 2018 there were 6,000 sexual assault reports.
Uber said the findings show that sexual assaults reported on the Uber app decreased by 38%. However, most reports likely go to police, not through the app.
"We get calls every day from women who are abused in Uber cars unfortunately," said Slater.
"While we can’t comment on pending litigation, we will continue to keep safety at the heart of our work," Uber wrote in response to KTVU's interview request about the mega lawsuit.
Uber also said, "Sexual assault is a horrific crime, and we take every single report seriously."
San Francisco attorney Matt Davis is representing another woman in federal court who alleges she was raped. The survivor hailed an Uber and got into a vehicle marked as an Uber.
The woman said she was raped during that ride.
The driver had two previous assault complaints and was fired. However, the company didn't inform police and did not take back the Uber badge from the man.
"Uber takes the position that that has nothing to do with its platform and, therefore, it doesn't even have to track, let alone report, those against its riders, and those happen a lot," said Davis.
A major goal of the women's lawsuit: "They want to make sure that what happened to them doesn't happen to women in the future, that Uber changes its policies to protect its customers, rather than putting product over people," said Slater.
Lyft also says it got 4,000 sexual assault reports between 2017 and 2018.