Lawsuit Filed After Uber Driver Raped Passenger, Alleging Safety Measures Could Prevent Alarming Number Rideshare Sexual Assaults

Uber rape lawsuit alleges that policy decisions by the rideshare company exposed allowed her to be raped by an Uber driver, who then took her home and raped her again.

A Pennsylvania woman has filed a sexual assault lawsuit against Uber, indicating that a lack of safety features and precautions taken by the rideshare company resulted in her being raped by a driver.

The complaint (PDF) was brought last month in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California by a woman anonymously identified as Jane Doe LS 159, seeking to hold Uber Technologies, Inc. and Rasier-Ca, LLC responsible damages she suffered when an Uber driver raped her.

The plaintiff indicates that she ordered an Uber through the rideshare app in November 2015. However, instead of safely taking her to the selected destination, the lawsuit alleges the Uber driver sexually assaulted, then took her home and raped her again.

Uber Rape Lawsuits

Although the claims have received little media attention, the recently filed complaint is one of a growing number of Uber sexual assault lawsuits now being pursued against the rideshare company, alleging that the company has ignored problems with Uber drivers raping or assaulting passengers, and placed a desire for profits above the safety and security of riders.

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Uber Sexual Assault Lawsuits

A lack of passenger safety features and cursory background checks for drivers have resulted in an alarming number of rapes and sexual assaults by Uber drivers. Lawyers provide free consultations and claim evaluations.

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Although Uber implemented “Safe Ride Fees” in 2014, the lawsuits indicate that the company never used that money to actually make its passengers safer, providing only cursory background checks for drivers. The company also failed to provide surveillance cameras inside of cars, did not allow passengers to make requests regarding the gender of drivers, and failed to train drivers on issues of sexual assault and harassment.

Given nearly identical allegations raised in about two dozen Uber sexual assault lawsuits filed throughout the federal court system, a motion is currently pending before the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML), seeking to consolidate all Uber rape lawsuits before one U.S. District Judge for coordinated discovery and pretrial proceedings.

In a motion filed in July 2023, lawyers indicate that there may eventually be thousands of lawsuits against Uber, each involving individuals who were also raped, sexually assaulted or harassed by Uber drivers, and claiming that the company failed to take appropriate safety precautions that could have prevented sexual predators working as rideshare drivers from targeting Uber passengers on a regular basis.

Plaintiffs argue consolidation is necessary to reduce duplicative discovery into common issues, avoid conflicting pretrial rulings from different courts and promote judicial efficiencies. However, Uber opposes consolidation of the rideshare sexual assault lawsuits, claiming plaintiffs entered into a contractual agreement prohibiting such consolidation when they signed up for the rideshare service. .

On August 11, the JPML issued a Notice of Hearing Session indicating it will hear oral arguments over Uber sexual assault lawsuit consolidation on September 28.

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