"Nothing meaningful has been done to make rides safer for passengers-especially women", reads a lawsuit filed against Uber today.
"Had Uber not sacrificed passenger safety for the sake of profit and expansion, and actually cared about who it was employing to drive its vehicles, rather than being preoccupied with racing to control its share of the taxi market, at the expense of existing taxi companies and consumers, Plaintiffs herein and proposed Class members would not have been harmed", the complaint says.
States have tried to force Uber's hand on the issue to no avail.
Uber said it was reviewing the lawsuit, according to The Washington Post.
Two anonymous women filed a complaint against Uber in a Northern California district court on Tuesday, with hopes of attaining class-action status on behalf of customers in the USA who were "subject to rape, sexual assault, physical violence or gender-motivated violence or harassment by their Uber driver in the last four years". 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.
Two anonymous plaintiffs who were assaulted by Uber drivers filed the lawsuit.
But the question at the heart of this new case is one that Uber has been navigating since its inception: Are its background checks thorough enough?
The women are requesting damages for their own alleged assaults along with an injunction against the company that would require it to conduct more rigorous background checks on its drivers and change other company practices.
"Instead, over the last seven years, 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", it adds.
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.
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.
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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