Lyft Lawsuits Allege Passengers Are Being Sexually Assaulted by Drivers, Due To Failure of the Rideshare Service to Enact Safety Measures

Two more women have filed Lyft sexual assault lawsuits in the last month indicating they were attached by drivers due to a lack of passenger protections and background checks that could have prevented the incidents.

An increasing number of Lyft lawsuits are now being filed in courts nationwide, each raising similar allegations to those faced by its competitor, Uber, claiming that the ride share company has failed to protect its passengers from sexual assault or harassment by drivers.

More than 200 Uber sexual assault lawsuits have been filed over the past year, mostly by female passengers who say they were harassed, groped, or even abducted and raped by Uber drivers. Similar incidents are also being described in lawsuits against Lyft, describing attacks by drivers, which plaintiffs claim could have been avoided if the ride share service had enacted certain safety measures.

Both rideshare companies have actively marketed their services for young women to use to get home safely after having too much to drink, but concerns emerged as thousands of women reported Uber driver sexual assaults, which the company failed to address, as it prioritized growth over passenger safety.

Given the popularity of the ride share services, it is ultimately expected that several thousand Uber and Lyft sexual assault lawsuits will be submitted in coming months and years, highlighting problems that have continued to go unaddressed by the companies for years.

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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.


As the Uber litigation emerged, Lyft had largely gone untouched by similar claims until this year. However, in January a Florida woman filed a Lyft lawsuit, indicating that a driver had raped her and impregnated her. DNA tests later confirmed that the driver was the father of the child.

On March 12, another complaint (PDF) was filed against Lyft, this time by Kyarra Hudson of Illinois. Hudson indicates she fell asleep in the back of a Lyft driver’s vehicle in January 2021, only to awaken with him on top of her, stripping off her clothes and sexually assaulting her.

A day later, another lawsuit against Lyft was filed by Maribeth Stencel (PDF) of Arizona, who says that while using the service in August 2022, the driver touched her hand, she began to feel foggy and faint, and the last thing she remembered was the driver pulling into a parking lot.

The next thing Stencel says she remembers is her children waking her halfway inside her doorway, her body covered in bruises, her belongings strewn about, and her phone missing. In addition, records showed that while she had ordered a ride home from the Lyft app, the trip was later cancelled at a different location. The incident is still under investigation.

Like its competitor Uber, Lyft actively markets itself as a company that provides safe transportation for consumers, the lawsuits note. However, plaintiffs indicate Lyft fails to perform even basic safety measures, such as background checks on its drivers, does not run fingerprints of its drivers, and does not check the applicants against available databases.

The lawsuits present claims of general negligence, negligent hiring, retention and supervision, common carrier negligence, negligent failure to warn, intentional misrepresentation, negligent infliction of emotional distress, breach of contract, strict product liability – design, and strict product liability – failure to warn.

Uber Sexual Assault Lawsuits

All three of the recent Lyft lawsuits were filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, where similar Uber sexual assault lawsuits have been consolidated for pretrial proceedings before U.S. District Judge Charles R. Breyer in the Northern District of California, as part of an MDL or multidistrict litigation.

Following coordinated general discovery in the Uber sexual assault lawsuits, it is expected that the court will select a small group of representative claims to go through case-specific discovery and be prepared for early trial dats, which will be used to gauge how juries are likely to respond to certain evidence and testimony that will be repeated throughout the litigation.

While the outcome of any bellwether trials in the MDL will not be binding on other claims, average Uber sexual assault lawsuit payouts awarded by juries may influence later settlement agreements. If no Uber sexual assault lawsuit settlement is reached, each individual claim may be remanded back to the U.S. District Court where it was originally filed for a future trial date.


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