Uber Lawsuit Lists Actionable Changes Uber Could Make To Prevent Sexual Assault

Toby Melville  ReutersUber app logo displayed on a mobile telephone Oct. 28 2016

Uber must make drastic changes to prevent another female rider from harm.

Two women who were unnamed on Tuesday filed a proposed class action lawsuit against Uber Technologies, accusing the ride-hailing company of poor vetting of drivers that led to thousands of Uber female passengers enduring a broad range of sexual harassment that included rape. They also allege Uber misrepresented the safety of using the service.

The complaint notes how MA had initiated a stricter review of potential Uber drivers.

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Over the last seven years, Uber has done everything possible to continue using low-priced, woefully inadequate background checks on drivers and has failed to monitor drivers for any violent or inappropriate conduct after they are hired.

In a statement provided to Bustle, Jeanne Christensen, one of the attorneys representing the Jane Does, says that Uber "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". "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. According to court papers, the taxi-app firm's screening methods are so inadequate that they encourage a system that gives sexual predators full 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". It required Uber, Lyft and other companies to reject any driver who has been convicted of a violent felony or a terrorism-related offense, or is a registered sex offender.

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The two women, who were not named in the lawsuit, are not only seeking damages for their alleged rapes; they want the company to take steps to prevent this from happening again.

Create a separate online form to report complaints of a violent or sexual nature against Uber drivers.

The complaint noted that drivers for California-based private transportation carriers, where Uber is based, must meet higher standards for "duty of care". Abdallah was arrested that month and charged with two counts of sexual battery, according to the lawsuit.

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