Information About Uber Driver Assaults Will Be Exchanged on Plaintiff Fact Sheets in MDL

As part of the process for identifying the most representative Uber driver sexual assault lawsuits to prepare for early trial dates, plaintiffs will complete fact sheets outlining information about their attack and injuries.

The U.S. District Judge presiding over all federal lawsuits involving Uber driver assaults on passengers is requiring each claimant to complete a Plaintiff Fact Sheet, providing key information about the sexual attacks they suffered after using the rideshare service, which will help guide the selection of potential bellwether lawsuits that will serve as early test cases in the growing litigation.

More than 200 lawsuits have already been filed against the rideshare service by passengers, mostly women, who say they were harassed, groped, or even abducted and raped by Uber drivers. However, it is ultimately expected that several thousand Uber driver assault lawsuits 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, according to the lawsuits.

Learn More About

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.

Learn More About this Lawsuit SEE IF YOU QUALIFY FOR COMPENSATION

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 lawsuits over Uber driver assaults in October 2023, 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.

As part of the coordinated pretrial proceedings, Judge Breyer is presiding over the exchange of discovery into common issues that impact all claims, and is expected to select a small group of claims that will be prepared for a series of early trial dates, which may drive future Uber driver assault settlement negotiations to resolve the litigation.

Uber Driver Assaults Detailed in Plaintiff Fact Sheets

As part of the bellwether process, the parties must be able to determine which cases will serve as the best representatives of the majority of claims, requiring a quick way to reference hundreds of different cases involving numerous Uber drivers nationwide.

In an order (PDF) issued on March 19, Judge Breyer detailed what information should be contained in the Plaintiffs’ Fact Sheets, and when they should be completed. The fact sheets will gather case-specific information about the Uber driver assaults experienced by each plaintiff, including injuries and relevant background information needed to complete written discovery.

The order calls for claims transferred to, or directly filed in, the MDL court by March 26 to submit a complete plaintiffs fact sheet within 60 days. Plaintiffs who file cases after March 26 will have 30 days to file their fact sheet.

The form asks several specific questions about the nature of the alleged Uber driver assaults, including whether the driver actually took the plaintiff to their requested destination, whether they made any stops along the way, whether there was a camera inside the driver’s vehicle, and other details about the incident, such as the nature of the assault. The questions include whether the driver tried to kiss a sexual body part, touched the passenger and how, and whether sexual penetration was attempted.

The fact sheet questions are more detailed than those found on typical product liability lawsuit claims due to the nature of these cases. Through the collection of this information, the Court hopes to create a profile of a typical, representative, Uber driver assault lawsuit for use in the bellwether trials.

April 2024 Uber Sexual Assault Lawsuit Update

Uber has faced claims that it ignored sexual assaults by drivers for years, with a culture that prioritized profits over the safety of passengers, many of whom the company targeted with advertisements encouraged to rely on the service after nights out drinking.

Although Uber has argued that it is not responsible for the criminal acts committed by individual drivers connected with passengers through the platform, plaintiffs point to the overwhelming volume of complaints involving rape, sexual assault and sexual harassment that went unaddressed for years, while the company continued to expose vulnerable passengers to sexual predators.

In response to independent investigations, the company released a report in December 2019, which outlined Uber driver sexual assault allegations raised by more than 6,000 riders between 2017 and 2018, including hundreds of rape cases. A second Uber report was released in July 2022, identifying another 3,824 incidents of sexual misconduct, assault and rape between 2019 and 2020.

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.

0 Comments

Share Your Comments

I authorize the above comments be posted on this page*

Want your comments reviewed by a lawyer?

To have an attorney review your comments and contact you about a potential case, provide your contact information below. This will not be published.

NOTE: Providing information for review by an attorney does not form an attorney-client relationship.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

More Top Stories