2 women sue Uber, allege sexual assault by drivers

The two plaintiffs, known as Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 2, are asking the court to order the ride-hailing company to strengthen many of its driver screening practices, reported Recode, a technology news site.

Two women have filed a class action lawsuit against Uber claiming they have been raped and attacked by drivers. "Period." The ride sharing company said the specifics of the allegations are being reviewed. "These allegations are important to us and we take them very seriously".

"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", the complaint states, according to USA Today.

The lawsuit states that both women were sexually assaulted by their Uber drivers, and accuses Uber of creating a system that fails at both preventing and handling these incidents of sexual violence.

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It reads "since Uber launched in 2010, thousands of female passengers have endured unlawful conduct by their Uber drivers including rape, sexual assault, physical violence and gender-motivated harassment". The accusers are seeking compensation for the alleged offenses and have requested the judge grant an injunction against Uber that requires the company to implement stricter background checks on its drivers. 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. 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".

The complaint noted that drivers for California-based private transportation carriers, where Uber is based, must meet higher standards for "duty of care". It remains unclear exactly what that training includes, specifically as it relates to Uber drivers. The plaintiffs insisted that these issues are affecting legitimate drivers, not the "rogue" ones.

Uber was not immediately available for comment. Abdallah was arrested that month and charged with two counts of sexual battery, according to the lawsuit.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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