Lawsuit claims 'thousands' of women have been raped, harassed by Uber drivers

Uber faces a class-action lawsuit over sexual assault by Uber drivers

Once again the globally renowned ride-hailing service, Uber is facing a lawsuit by two women, asking the court to force the company to change its driver screening and other practices on behalf of all US riders.

Two women are asking a court to force Uber to improve practices like driver screening on behalf of any riders who might have been "subjected to rape, sexual assault or gender-motivated violence or harassment" in the past four years, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday.

An Uber spokesperson said the company is reviewing the lawsuit.

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The complaint filed by the two plaintiffs accuses Uber of engaging in "unlawful" and "fraudulent" conduct by misrepresenting the safety of its ride-hailing service.

It claims Uber not only failed to warn passengers about its flawed background checks, but that it doesn't adequately track its drivers' conduct after they're hired.

"The company 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", Christensen said in a statement. The complaint cites accounts of assault by Uber drivers shared as part of the #MeToo movement; failures of background checks, including the registration as an Uber driver of the truck driver in the terrorist attack in NY on October 31; the debate over whether Uber drivers are employees of Uber; and misleading advertising from Uber about "safe rides". "Nothing meaningful has been done to make rides safer for passengers - especially women".

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The lawsuit hits Uber months after the company over the treatment of women in its corporate offices. "Uber has created a system for bad actors to gain 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", the suit reads. The Uber driver was charged with "Rape by use of drugs".

An extensive form of vetting including fingerprinting, which is not required by Uber, and background checks is costly to companies in the form of money and time.

"A litany of incidents regarding sexual assaults, and physical assaults, by Uber drivers on passengers, shows a pattern of similarly heinous, but avoidable attacks", the lawsuit states.

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