Journey hailing big Uber has been sued by 550 ladies throughout the USA, alleging sexual assaults by drivers.
The lawsuit, filed on Wednesday, alleges the ladies have been subjected to varied types of violence from Uber drivers, starting from rape and sexual assault, by means of to stalking and even kidnapping.
Two weeks in the past the agency had launched its second security report, revealing that sexual assault reported on the platform was down.
However a complaint was filed on Wednesday by attorneys with the Slater Slater Schulman agency in San Francisco County Superior Court docket.
The legislation agency stated it has about 550 purchasers with claims in opposition to the corporate, and not less than 150 extra are being actively investigated.
“As early as 2014, Uber turned conscious that its drivers have been sexually assaulting and raping feminine passengers; however, within the eight years since, sexual predators driving for Uber have continued to assault passengers, together with the plaintiffs whose claims have been alleged in in the present day’s motion,” the legislation agency stated.
“Uber’s entire enterprise mannequin is based on giving individuals a secure experience dwelling, however rider security was by no means their concern – development was, on the expense of their passengers’ security,” alleged Adam Slater, founding accomplice of Slater Slater Schulman LLP.
“Whereas the corporate has acknowledged this disaster of sexual assault in recent times, its precise response has been gradual and insufficient, with horrific penalties,” alleged Slater.
The legal professionals alleged that “Uber’s prioritisation of development over buyer security – and the ensuing horror skilled by a lot of its passengers – is well-documented.”
Two week in the past Uber in its second security report stated it obtained 3,824 reviews of the 5 most extreme classes of sexual assault in 2019 and 2020, starting from “non-consensual kissing of a non-sexual physique half” to “non-consensual sexual penetration,” or rape.
Uber stated that reported sexual assaults decreased by 38 % from its preliminary report, which coated 2017 and 2018.
It’s unclear on the time of writing if the Covid-19 pandemic impacted these numbers, as a result of dramatic discount in riders throughout 2020 and 2021.
And it ought to be famous that Uber has launched numerous security choices in recent times, reminiscent of screening drivers once they join on the platform and every year after that.
Nonetheless, the corporate has maintained in lawsuits that it might’t be held chargeable for its drivers, whom it considers impartial contractors somewhat than staff.
In December final yr, Uber agreed to pay $9 million (£6.8m) in a settlement over its refusal to supply information to California regulators on sexual assault claims, ending a two-year dispute.
Underneath that deal the agency will dedicated to reporting future sexual assault information, utilizing a singular identifier system to guard the identities of these concerned.
It stated it could create an opt-in course of for individuals who needed to make extra particulars of an incident obtainable to regulators.
Uber had beforehand argued that offering particulars of assaults to the California Public Utilities Fee (CPUC) with out the consent of these concerned would violate their privateness rights.