Uber Sexual Assault Lawyers Asked to Apply For Leadership Positions in MDL By Nov. 17
The U.S. District Judge presiding over all Uber sexual assault lawsuits being pursued throughout the federal court system has given plaintiffs’ attorneys until the end of the week to apply for leadership positions in the growing litigation, which already involves dozens of claims brought by individuals who were sexually harassed, assaulted or raped by Uber drivers.
There are currently at least 80 lawsuits against Uber, each raising similar allegations that the rideshare app disregarded the safety of passengers by failing to take appropriate safety precautions and failing to conduct background checks to prevent sexual predators from working as drivers. However, it is ultimately expected that hundreds, if not thousands, of claims will be pursued in the coming years.
Although Uber implemented “Safe Ride Fees” in 2014, plaintiffs maintain 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.
Learn More About
Given common questions of fact and law raised in complaints filed in various different federal courts, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) consolidated all Uber sexual assault cases last month, centralizing the litigation before U.S. District Judge Charles R. Breyer in the Northern District of California, as part of an MDL or multidistrict litigation.
On November 3, Judge Breyer held an initial status conference with Uber sexual assault lawyers involved in the litigation, and indicated that the Court will appoint a number of individual attorneys to serve on a Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee and other leadership positions during the coordinated discovery and pretrial proceedings.
Following the conference, a pretrial order (PDF) was issued, calling for attorneys wishing to serve in leadership positions to file individual applications on or before Friday, November 17. The order details how the applications and accompanying resumes should be formatted and what information should be included.
The Uber sexual assault lawyers selected for leadership positions will be tasked with coordinating status updates for the court, arguing certain pretrial motions, conducting discovery and depositions into common issues that impact all claims, and potentially negotiating a framework for Uber settlements that may help resolve large numbers of claims. However, each individual plaintiff will still retain their own lawyer to meet various deadlines and establish that they meet the criteria for a Uber sexual assault lawsuit payout.
November 2023 Uber Sexual Assault Settlement Update
Now that an Uber sexual assault MDL has been established, each individual claim has been transferred to Judge Breyer for pretrial proceedings, and it is expected that a series of bellwether trial will be scheduled to help the parties gauge how juries may respond to certain evidence and testimony that will be repeated throughout the litigation. However, those trials could be unnecessary if the parties are able to reach an Uber sexual assault lawsuit settlement agreement.
At the initial status conference, Judge Breyer invited the parties to submit any suggestions for the appointment of a Special Settlement Master, indicating he intends the parties to participate in good faith negotiations to reach an Uber sexual assault lawsuit settlement agreement.
On November 3, plaintiffs submitted recommendations (PDF) for seven potential former judges and magistrates who could serve as a Special Settlement Master, including Judge Gail A. Andler, Judge Marina Corodemus, Randi Ellis, Chief Magistrate Judge Donna Ryu, Judge Winifred Y. Smith, Magistrate Judge Joseph C. Spero, and Judge Diane M. Welsh.
“Appointment of any of these individuals will facilitate expeditious, efficient, and just resolution of these complex proceedings,” plaintiffs wrote. “They all have stellar reputations for fairmindedness and integrity and have demonstrated the ability to earn parties’ trust and broker resolution across multiple jurisdictions.”
Following the coordinated pretrial proceedings before Judge Beyer in the MDL, if Uber sexual assault settlements are not reached to resolve large numbers of cases, each individual lawsuit may later be returned back to the U.S. District Court where it was originally filed for trial in the future.
"*" indicates required fields
More Top Stories
A group of plaintiffs have asked a panel of federal judges to consolidate all lawsuits over Ozempic, Wegovy and Mounjaro stomach paralysis injuries before one judge for pretrial procedures.
Although Suboxone settlements have been paid to resolve antitrust violations, users who suffered damages due to tooth decay from Suboxone film must pursue individual product liability lawsuits
With thousands of Bard hernia mesh lawsuits pending in the federal court system, a fourth bellwether trial will be held in the spring, involving allegations that defects with Bard 3DMax caused painful and permanent injuries.