An iPhone displays the Uber ride-hailing app on 26 September 2017, in Hong Kong.
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Uber is being sued by greater than 500 women who claim they were assaulted by drivers who use the ride-hailing platform.
The criticism, filed Wednesday, claims that “women passengers in multiple states were kidnapped, sexually assaulted, sexually battered, raped, falsely imprisoned, stalked, harassed, or otherwise attacked” by their Uber drivers.
The case was filed by attorneys with the Slater Slater Schulman firm in San Francisco County Superior Court. The law firm said it has about 550 clients with claims against the corporate, and at the very least 150 more are being actively investigated.
“As early as 2014, Uber became aware that its drivers were sexually assaulting and raping female passengers; nevertheless, within the eight years since, sexual predators driving for Uber have continued to attack passengers, including the plaintiffs whose claims were alleged in today’s motion,” the law firm said in a press release.
After publication of this story, an Uber spokesperson sent the next statement:
“Sexual assault is a horrific crime and we take each report seriously. There may be nothing more vital than safety, which is why Uber has built recent safety features, established survivor-centric policies, and been more transparent about serious incidents. While we won’t comment on pending litigation, we are going to proceed to maintain safety at the guts of our work.”
The filing comes nearly two weeks after the ride-hailing giant released its second safety report.
Uber said it received 3,824 reports of the five most severe categories of sexual assault in 2019 and 2020, starting from “non-consensual kissing of a non-sexual body part” to “non-consensual sexual penetration,” or rape.
The corporate said reported sexual assaults decreased by 38% from its initial report, which covered 2017 and 2018. It’s unclear if there was an impact from the Covid-19 pandemic, which dramatically reduced the variety of riders during 2020 and 2021.
“While the corporate has acknowledged this crisis of sexual assault in recent times, its actual response has been slow and inadequate, with horrific consequences,” Adam Slater, a founding partner of Slater Slater Schulman, said in an announcement.
Uber has introduced a variety of safety options in recent times, equivalent to screening drivers after they join on the platform and yearly after that. Still, the corporate has maintained in lawsuits that it could actually’t be held accountable for its drivers, whom it considers independent contractors relatively than employees, Bloomberg Law reported.