Uber is being sued by 550 U.S. women passengers who claim to have been sexually assaulted by Uber drivers.
Uber Civil Complaint Filed
A civil complaint against Uber Technologies, Inc. (Uber) was filed Wednesday, July 13, 2022, by attorneys Slater Slatter Schulman LLP. The court filing claims passengers were kidnapped, sexually assaulted, sexually battered, raped, falsely imprisoned, stalked, harassed, or otherwise attacked by Uber drivers.
“Uber’s whole business model is predicated on giving people a safe ride home, but rider safety was never their concern — growth was, at the expense of their passengers’ safety,” said Adam Slater, founding partner of Slater Slater Schulman representing the women, in a statement. Adding, “While the company has acknowledged this crisis of sexual assault in recent years, its actual response has been slow and inadequate, with horrific consequences.”
Uber’s History Of Assault
Last month Uber released a safety report that indicated there were 998 sexual assaults which include 141 rape reports just in 2020.
According to reports, there were 3,824 reports of the five most severe categories of sexual assault between 2019 and 2020. Uber’s first safety report found almost 6,000 incidents in 2017 and 2018 related to sexual assault.
The Dark Side
After accessing reports, The Guardian reported ‘Uber Files’ with more than 1,24,000 documents dating from 2013 and 2017, which showed how “Uber tried to shore up support by discreetly courting prime ministers, presidents, billionaires, oligarchs and media barons.”
In a revealing leaked trail of Uber internal documentation, the darker side emerged. The claims cite the company broke laws, and lobbied governments (including in India) secretly as it went forward with its plan to expand globally.
What was also revealing, is the statement from Uber in its latest safety report that says “Although the impact of COVID-19 on sexual assault generally remains unclear, data from various federal sources shows a significant increase in violent crime during the pandemic, including murder, which according to the CDC increased nearly 30% in 2020.”
A frightening statement from Uber when a driver raped a 25-year-old passenger in Delhi in 2014 decided to “shift blame to flawed Indian background checks.” This is not surprising given the longstanding policy of not reporting any criminal activity to law enforcement, although it has maintained a “three strikes” policy for drivers.
The law firm is actively investigating 150 more cases in the U.S. and believes there is more Uber can do to protect riders, like installing cameras in the car and performing more robust background checks on drivers.
TechCrunch received a response from an Uber spokesperson: “Sexual assault is a horrific crime and we take every single report seriously. There is nothing more important than safety, which is why Uber has built new safety features, established survivor-centric policies, and been more transparent about serious incidents. While we can’t comment on pending litigation, we will continue to keep safety at the heart of our work.”
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