Tuesday, May 17

Uber and Lyft face up to 1,000 lawsuits claiming drivers sexually assaulted or harassed passengers, sometimes when the passengers were asleep


  • A California law firm plans to file up to 1,000 sexual assault lawsuits against Uber and Lyft, KPIX reported.
  • Lawyers from Levin Simes Abrams said some cases involve reports of drivers assaulting sleeping women.
  • The firm has called for mandatory surveillance cameras in cars to deter assaults.

Uber and Lyft could face nearly 1,000 individual lawsuits claiming that drivers sexually assaulted and harassed passengers, lawyers at firm Levin Simes Abrams told KPIX Wednesday.

The San Francisco-based law firm recently filed 85 lawsuits against Uber, mostly in San Francisco County Superior Court, with 321 cases pending, and filed more than 20 lawsuits against Lyft, with 517 cases pending, lawyers told KPIX.

About one third of those cases represented California residents, firm partners Rachel Abrams and Laurel Simes also told KRON in a separate interview on Wednesday.

Abrams and Simes told KRON that the 85 cases filed against Uber would not be joined together in a class-action lawsuit, because the details and severity of each case varied significantly.

The lawyers told KRON that hundreds of women came forward with claims of sexual assault and harassment after the firm took on its first case against Uber in 2019. In some cases, the women claimed drivers assaulted them when they were asleep or intoxicated, the lawyers said .

Firm attorney Meghan McCormick told KPIX in an interview that some drivers stand accused of ending rides early on the app “so it looks to anybody watching, or to Uber, as if they did exactly what they’re supposed to do.” They then drive the passenger “to a deserted place,” she said.

Abrams told KPIX that 99% of assaults “would be prevented if there was a camera.”

The ride-hailing apps announced in a joint statement in March that they would share data with each other on drivers who had been banned from their platforms for “the most serious safety incidents,” including sexual assaults and physical assaults that resulted in death.

In 2019, Uber released its first safety report, which said there had been 3,045 sexual assault reports on its US platform, out of 2.3 billion trips, between 2017 and 2018.

Uber said in a statement to KRON: “We remain steadfast in our commitment to support victims and help stop sexual violence by collaborating with experts, pioneering safety tech solutions, and setting the standard on transparency and accountability.”

Uber, Lyft, and Levin Simes Abrams did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.



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