Lawsuit filed against Uber by female passengers alleging rape, sexual assaults

Uber cars appear in San Francisco Calif. in this undated image

Uber is facing a class action lawsuit from US riders alleging assault

The lawsuit was filed by the NY firm Wigdor LLP, which is suing Uber in a separate case on behalf of a woman who was raped by an Uber driver in India. One such case against the company settled under confidential terms in November 2016.

The complaint, filed in a United States district court in San Francisco, California, today seeks damages, stricter screening for drivers, insurance coverage for riders, and disclosure of the number of reports Uber has received about rapes, sexual assaults and gender-related harassment.

"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 legal complaint reads, according to Recode.

"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.

An Uber spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

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The lawsuit alleges that Uber markets to young women traveling alone and puts profits over their safety. It also seeks damages for the alleged harms the victims have endured, plus punitive damages. It is time for Uber to 'Do the right thing. That is exacerbated by the company "targeting" intoxicated passengers with claims that Uber is a life-saving option for riders who've had a few drinks, the women allege. "These allegations are important to us and we take them very seriously", the ride-hailing firm said in a statement.

Internal Uber customer support documents I previously obtained in 2016 showed that when searching the term "sexual assault" there were more than 6,000 driver or rider complaints that met that query.

An Uber spokesperson said: "Uber received this complaint today and we are in the process of reviewing it".

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

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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