Uber Sexual Assault Lawsuit

LAWSUIT UPDATES AND SETTLEMENT INFORMATION

LAWSUIT STATUS: New Cases Being Reviewed

Yes. Following the discovery of an alarming number of rapes, sexual assaults and allegations of sexual harassment among drivers of the rideshare company, a number of Uber sexual assault lawsuits are now being pursued by individuals nationwide.

Lawsuits allege that Uber prioritized growth and profits over customer safety, by failing to adequately vet drivers and take appropriate safety precautions to prevent sexual predators from assaulting Uber passengers.

Lawyers are pursuing Uber sexual assault settlement payouts for individuals throughout the United States who were assaulted or violated by their Uber driver during rides arranged through the Uber app, including:

  • Rape
  • Sexual Assault
  • Sexual Harassment
  • Other forms of unwanted sexual contact
  • Uber implemented "Safe Ride Fees" in 2014, but has failed to take steps to protect passengers
  • Thousands of passengers have reported rapes and sexual assaults by Uber drivers
  • Lawsuits claim that Uber failed to properly screen drivers or implement effective in-vehicle technologies to prevent passengers from being targeted by sexual predators.
  • Uber has withdrawn its mandatory arbitration clause, allowing individuals who have been sexual assaulted while using the rideshare services to pursue claims in court.
  • Lawyers provide free and confidential consultations for Uber sexual assault survivors.

Uber Sexual Assault Lawsuits Overview

Uber, originally known as “UberCab”, was founded in March 2009, by Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp, and was officially launched to the public in San Francisco in 2011. Initially introduced as a luxury car service accessible through a smartphone app, Uber rideshare services expanded quickly across the U.S., as the company marketed the service as a safe means of transportation through the click of a button.

In an effort to expand the growth of Uber and gain a competitive edge on the deeply rooted taxi industry, Uber began to adopt an expedited recruitment method to quickly hire drivers across the U.S., which lacked thorough background checks.

Within a few years of its launch, thousands of Uber sexual assault reports had been submitted by riders claiming their Uber driver raped, sexually assaulted, sexually harassed or kidnapped them, raising concerns that Uber’s inadequate background check procedures and safety measures put passengers at risk of serious harm.

Sexual assault lawsuits are now being filed by individuals who have been raped or sexually assaulted by an Uber driver, claiming Uber did not thoroughly screen its drivers and did not implement suitable safety measures, even after publicly recognizing a “sexual assault crisis” existed within the company.

Who Qualifies For An Uber Sexual Assault Lawsuit Payout?

Financial compensation and settlement benefits may be available through an Uber sexual assault lawsuit for individuals who were assaulted by their Uber driver. Sexual assault payouts are being pursued for any of the following instances:

  • Rape
  • Sexual Assault
  • Sexual Harassment
  • Other forms of unwanted sexual contact

Uber sexual assault lawyers review all claims on a contingency fee basis, which means there are no fees or expenses paid unless a settlement or lawsuit payout is received.

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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.

SEE IF YOU QUALIFY FOR COMPENSATION

Latest 2024 Uber Lawsuit Updates

May 24, 2024 Update: On May 20, the U.S. District Judge presiding over all Uber sexual assault lawsuits filed in federal courts nationwide rejected arguments by the rideshare service claiming that Uber consumers forfeited their right to be part of a multidistrict litigation (MDL) when they signed the terms of service.

April 14, 2024 Update: Amid a growing number of Uber sexual assault lawsuits being filed, each claiming the ride-share company has failed to take proper precautions to protect passengers, Uber introduced new safety features on April 10, aimed at enhancing protection for young female passengers. The updated Uber app now includes a RideCheck feature, which monitors for deviations in the route, unexpected stops, or premature ride endings, and provides check-ins to ensure passenger safety. Additionally, a new PIN verification feature allows passengers to confirm their driver’s identity with a four-digit PIN before starting the ride. While the new safety features have been seen as an improvement, many claim these efforts have come far too late.

March 2024 Update: U.S. District Judge Charles R. Breyer rejected Uber’s motion to pause sexual assault lawsuits, indicating that “little would be gained by staying proceedings for a fixed amount of time.”

January 2024 Update: Uber has asked for a pause in Uber sexual assault litigation while it seeks to have a federal appeals court review and overturn the creation of the MDL.

October 2023 Update: The JPML issued a transfer order on October 4, calling for all Uber sexual assault lawsuits to be centralized for pretrial proceedings in the Northern District of California under Judge Charles R. Breyer. According to the order instructing the creation of an Uber passenger sexual assault multidistrict litigation, at least 77 related actions are now pending in 15 different districts.

September 2023 Update: The JPML released a Notification of Hearing on August 11, announcing that they will hear oral arguments regarding the consolidation of Uber sexual assault lawsuits on September 28, 2023 at the University of Kentucky J. David Rosenberg College of Law, in Lexington, Kentucky.

July 2023 Update: A group of Uber sexual assault plaintiffs filed a motion with the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) on July 14, 2023, requesting that a growing number of complaints brought throughout the federal court system be be consolidated into an Uber sexual assault lawsuit MDL (multidistrict litigation), so that one judge can preside over the pretrial proceedings in the Northern District of California.

The motion indicates that at least 22 Uber rideshare lawsuits have been filed in 11 different judicial districts, each making similar allegations that plaintiffs were sexually assaulted by Uber drivers. The motion suggests that potentially thousands of similar lawsuits may emerge from individuals alleging sexual assault or harassment by Uber drivers.

June 2023 Update: The second Uber U.S. Safety Report was released by the company on June 1, 2023, revealing 998 incidents of sexual assault and 141 rape cases recorded in 2020, the latest year for which data was available. Additionally, during 2019 and 2020, Uber acknowledged receiving 3,824 reports spanning the five gravest types of sexual assault. These ranged from “non-consensual kissing of a nonsexual body part” to instances classified as “non-consensual sexual penetration”.


Uber Sexual Assault Problems Known For Years

Lawsuits allege that Uber has failed to take a number of steps, which could have protected passengers, including:

  • Performing thorough background checks;
  • Providing comprehensive training and supervision of Uber drivers;
  • Enhancing safety features in the Uber App
  • Implementing video and audio monitoring to protect its passengers.

These new safety features were not adequately pursued, even though there is substantial evidence that the company has been aware of thousands of Uber sexual assaults and serious incidents involving harassment, stalking and other predatory behavior by Uber drivers, which has been well documented since at least 2014.

6,000 Uber Sexual Assaults Reported Between 2017-2018

In an Uber Safety Report released in December 2019, the company revealed that roughly 6,000 sexual assault reports were filed by Uber riders between 2017 and 2018, with more than 3,000 reported in 2017 alone.

While the report indicated a 16% decrease in the five gravest categories of reported sexual assault from 2017, the company revealed there were 235 reported rape cases linked to Uber rides in 2018, showing an increase from the 229 rape cases reported in 2017.

Although drivers and riders reported sexual assault claims at nearly identical rates, drivers were implicated in 92% of the most severe cases, including rape

Nearly 4,000 Sexual Assaults Reported Between 2019-2020

Uber released a second safety report in July 2022, revealing that from 2019 to 2020, the company was notified of 3,824 incidents of sexual assault and misconduct, which included 388 cases of rape.

While the rideshare giant attempted to shift the focus of the report to indicate these numbers represented a 38% decline in incidents, thousands of individuals continued to be victim of preventable sexual assault.

Key statistics from the report include:

  • 247 cases of rape were reported in 2019.
  • 141 cases of rape were reported in 2020.
  • The year 2019 also recorded 2,826 sexual assault incidents across five defined categories: non-consensual sexual penetration, unwanted kissing on a sexual body part, unwarranted touching of a sexual body part, attempted nonconsensual sexual penetration, and non-consensual kissing on a non-sexual body part.
  • 998 incident reports spanning these five categories were reported in 2020.
  • Female passengers accounted for 81% of the rape survivors during this period, with men representing around 15%.

Types of Sexual Assault Reported By Uber Riders

The most commonly reported types of sexual assault reported by victims of Uber sexual assaults have been categorized as;

  • Non-consensual sexual penetration
  • Attempted sexual penetration
  • Unwanted kissing on a sexual body part
  • Unwarranted touching of a sexual body part
  • Non-consensual kissing on a non-sexual body part

These types of sexual acts can, and have included;

  • Rape: Rape is the unwanted sexual penetration of a victim’s body. This includes vaginal, anal, or oral penetration by the offender’s body part or by an object.
  • Attempted Rape: When an offender attempts to penetrate a victim without their consent, but no penetration actually occurs.
  • Fondling or unwanted touching: Touching, fondling, or groping a person’s body without their consent.
  • Sexual battery: Touching the intimate parts of a person for the purpose of sexual arousal, gratification, or abuse.
  • Sexual harassment: Unwanted sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that interferes with one’s employment or creates a hostile work environment.
  • Exhibitionism or flashing: Exposing one’s genitals or sexual acts without consent.

Is Uber Responsible For Sexual Assault By A Driver?

Yes, Uber is responsible for incidents of sexual assault by its drivers. While the company has attempted to sidestep liability by claiming its drivers are independent contractors, Uber remains accountable for ensuring rider safety on its platform. Lawsuits pursue claims under several legal theories to hold Uber accountable for rape or sexual assault by a driver, including:

  • Duty of Care: Uber, as a transportation service, has a duty of care to its passengers. This means they have a responsibility to take reasonable steps to ensure the safety and well-being of their customers. If their hiring or monitoring practices are found to be lax, it can be argued that they have breached this duty of care.
  • Screening and Background Checks: Uber could be held liable for a sexual assault if the company fails to properly screen and vet its drivers because it has a duty of care to ensure that passengers are safe when using its service. If inadequate screening contributes to an incident of sexual assault, it might be argued that Uber is liable due to negligence in their vetting process.
  • Training and Education: Uber can be held liable for a sexual assault lawsuit if the company fails to properly train and educate its drivers, because it is responsible for ensuring that drivers using its platform maintain a certain standard of safety and professionalism. Inadequate training could be perceived as negligence on the company’s part, allowing for potentially dangerous individuals to operate under its brand, thus endangering passengers and exposing the company to legal repercussions.
  • Reporting and Response Mechanisms: Uber can be held liable for failing to report instances of sexual assault by its drivers because, as a ride-hailing platform, it has a duty of care to its passengers. Neglecting to report such instances may be seen as a breach of this duty and an attempt to conceal serious misconduct, potentially endangering passengers and tarnishing the trust consumers place in the company’s commitment to safety.
  • Driver Relationship: Even though Uber often classifies its drivers as independent contractors rather than employees, lawsuits argue that Uber maintains significant control over drivers’ work conditions. By setting prices, determining routes, requiring certain behaviors, and implementing ratings systems, Uber exercises a degree of control that may push the relationship closer to that of an employer-employee.

Can I sue the Uber driver who sexually assaulted me?

Yes, if you are sexually assaulted by an Uber driver, you can sue Uber and the individual driver for the harm and trauma they caused you. In many jurisdictions, individuals who commit such heinous acts can be held criminally liable and can also face civil lawsuits for damages.


Uber Falsely Advertised Its Services As Safe

Lawsuits claim that Uber has deceptively promoted itself as a more secure option compared to other transportation modes, specifically aiming at young, inebriated women and those traveling late at night by claiming it employs top-tier safety measures.

Plaintiffs argue that Uber falsely presents itself as a superior and safer choice than traditional taxis, touting its services as the “most secure ride available” and “a dependable journey”.

Uber has also used advertising tactics to position itself as the preferred transportation choice after one has had a drink. Through a partnership with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), they’ve conveyed the message that the availability of services like Uber leads to safer transportation decisions.

Uber has also collaborated with alcohol vendors, as seen in their campaign with Budweiser, insinuating that after a night out, Uber is the safe way to reach home. However, what Uber has failed to highlight, especially to younger female passengers who might have consumed alcohol, is the potential risk of sexual assault by some of its drivers.

Individuals claim that Uber has maintained this position to the public all while concealing thousands of reports of sexual assault against customers by its drivers.


Uber Mandatory Arbitration Clause Silenced Victims

Prior to May 2018, Uber had a mandatory arbitration clause, which was a policy that required individuals making claims of sexual harassment or assault against the company to settle these claims through private arbitration, thus keeping such allegations out of public courts and view.

Under this Uber mandatory arbitration clause, victims had to agree to confidentiality terms during arbitration processes, silencing them from discussing details of any sexual harassment or assault incidents publicly.

Lawsuits claim that Uber neglected the ongoing sexual assault crisis among its drivers, knowing that the company was protected by its mandatory arbitration clause that customers are forced to agree to before using the service.

Uber Lawsuits Allowed In Open Court

Following concerns around the growing number of Uber sexual assault reports, Uber removed this forced arbitration clause in May 2018, in an attempt to restore the brand’s image to the public.

By dropping the arbitration clause, individuals are now allowed to pursue an Uber sexual assault lawsuit through a range of avenues, including

  • Public lawsuits
  • Confidential mediation
  • Private arbitration
  • Court proceedings

This move towards transparency also entailed the lifting of confidentiality agreements in arbitration, thereby permitting victims to speak openly about their experiences openly.


Examples of Uber Sexual Assault Lawsuits

Uber Driver Sexual Assault Lawsuit: In a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court Northern District of California on August 25, 2023, a woman going by the name Jane Doe LS 37 claims that she was sexually assaulted by her Uber driver as she attempted to exit the vehicle. Jane Doe LS 37 claims that as she began to exit the vehicle after arriving at her destination, the Uber driver grabbed her hand and forced her to touch his genitalia, made an inappropriate sexually charged comment, and then grabbed her by the hair and forcibly kissed her.

Plaintiff claims that the depraved and disgusting attack frightened, humiliated, degraded, violated, and robbed her of her dignity and personal safety. The complaint further states the sexual assault could have been avoided if Uber had properly screened its drivers and taken the thousands of previously reported sexual assault incidents seriously.

Uber Driver Forced Oral Sex On Passenger Lawsuit: In an Uber sexual assault lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court Northern District of California on August 25, 2023, plaintiff going by the name of Jane Doe LS 354 claims her Uber driver sexual assaulted her by touching her breasts, attempted to touch her vagina, and exposed himself, and then forced her to perform oral copulation on him.

Uber Driver Rape Lawsuit: In an Uber rape lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court Northern District of California on August 24, 2023, plaintiff going by the name of Jane Doe LS 159 claims that her Uber driver pulled over in an unknown location and raped her, then drove Plaintiff to her destination, followed her into her home, and raped her again.


How Long Do I Have to File an Uber Sexual Assault Claim?

The timeframe to file a lawsuit for sexual assault involving Uber depends on the statute of limitations set by each state for sexual assault or personal injury claims.

You have a limited amount of time to file a sexual assault lawsuit, and this duration varies by state due to differences in each state’s statute of limitations. Typically, the clock starts ticking from the date of the alleged incident. It’s essential to consult with a sexual abuse attorney as soon as possible to understand the specific time limits and requirements for your jurisdiction.


How Much Is An Uber Lawsuit Settlement Worth?

If you experienced sexual assault while using Uber, you could have a valid legal claim. Any inappropriate conduct, ranging from unwarranted touching to rape by an Uber driver, is cause for legal action. Initiating a lawsuit could make you eligible for various forms of compensation, including:

  • Medical costs
  • Lost earnings
  • Emotional distress and trauma
  • Punitive damages

The potential compensation is contingent upon the specifics of your situation. For instance, if the assault led to minor medical bills and didn’t impact your ability to work, the financial recovery might be limited in those areas. Conversely, if the assault caused significant injuries demanding extensive medical attention and resulted in lost work time, the compensation could be considerably higher.


Uber Sexual Assault Cases Reviewed Nationwide

If you or a loved one were sexually assaulted by an Uber driver, submit information about your potential claim for review by a lawyer to determine whether a Uber lawsuit settlement or lawsuit payout may be available.

Uber sexual assault lawyers provide free claim evaluations and consultations. There are no fees or expenses unless a recovery is obtained in your case.

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Free Case Evaluation

For more information on whether you qualify for an Uber sexual assault lawsuit, submit information for review by a law firm to determine if you may be eligible for an Uber lawsuit settlement.

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