Uber sued by women who allege they were raped by drivers

A man arrives at the Uber offices in Queens New York U.S. Feb. 2 2017

Uber sued by women who allege they were raped by drivers

Uber has been hit with yet another lawsuit, after two women filed a class action legal complaint accusing the company of not doing enough to protect riders from rape, which they claim to be direct victims of.

A spokesperson for Uber responded to the lawsuit, telling us, "Uber received this complaint today and we are in the process of reviewing it". The women further claim the company generally misrepresented the safety of taking an Uber.

The company has repeatedly refused to run more robust background checks through fingerprinting, which checks against the FBI's criminal records database.

We've embedded the legal complaint below. After agreeing to let MA handle background checks on drivers, the state found that more than 10% of Uber and Lyft drivers did not make the cut.

"On notice of the magnitude of the number of passengers who have experienced sexual harassment and gender-based violence, Uber should have made drastic changes to the way that it screens and monitors drivers, as well as advancing safety measures on its app and in vehicles, and disclosed the truth to consumers about its insurance coverage during rides", the lawsuit says.

This lawsuit comes as the ride-hail company is working to revamp its image after a tumultuous year wrought with public scandals.

Those newly banned drivers had passed both Uber and Lyft's company screenings.

Uber has successfully opposed state or national attempts at mandating fingerprint background checks in many markets, with the notable exception of NY and London.

But this complaint wants to re-litigate both those issues.

It says Uber has skirted regulators by classifying itself as a technology company but it is essentially a taxi company with drivers that should be considered employees. It is time for Uber to 'Do the right thing. "Period." That includes divulging how many reports of sexual assault Uber receives and what it does with those reports.

The suit was filed by Wigdor LLP, a NY law firm that has previously represented women who were allegedly victims of sexual violence at the hands of Uber drivers. That woman is now suing the company for invasion of privacy. Uber and Lyft returned to the city this May after the Texas Legislature passed a bill that, in part, allowed the rideshare titans to avoid collecting drivers' fingerprints.

And it recounts a handful of sexual assaults involving Uber drivers among several hundred that have been described in news reports in recent years.

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