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A new lawsuit filed against Uber in California on behalf of two unidentified women is claiming that the service is not as safe as advertised. The Doe plaintiffs allege that each was raped by their Uber driver, calling into question the service's claim that it is a safe alternative to driving home from the bar.
The case is not only seeking class action status, but the attorneys are also requesting that Uber turn over their data on the rider complaints relating to rapes and assaults. The case seeks an injunction against Uber requiring changes to the driver screening process, as well as new monitoring policies for drivers to ensure riders are more protected from a driver assault.
Background in the Background
Since debuting, Uber and other "sharing economy" type services have come under fire for not running adequate background checks. As noted by CNN, Uber has been reluctant to implement a fingerprint screening because it could cause problems for the company which needs to be continually hiring new drivers to meet the market demands. However, the news outlet also reported that the suspect in the recent terror attack in Manhattan drove for both Uber and Lyft.
Uber has been sued before over their background check process, and also for a driver's sexual assault on a rider. It recently settled a case against it that alleged their background checks were inadequate in California. That case notably uncovered the fact that not only did registered sex offenders clear the background check, but so did a convicted murderer.
The Case at Bar
The current case involves two separate women who sought Uber rides home from bars. In each case, both believed that by taking an Uber, they were taking a safe ride home. Rather, they were each raped by their drivers. The plaintiffs believe that there are numerous other women out there who have had similar experiences, and had their complaints to the company ignored.
The attorney bringing the matter believes that Uber and other ride share services, should be required to report publicly every so often regarding the number of complaints and how each was resolved. Given how cagey Uber is with its data, it's likely the company will strongly resist disclosing anything.