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15 November 2017, 02:06 | Kelvin Horton
Uber is facing a class action lawsuit from US riders alleging assault
Uber has been hit with yet another lawsuit, after two women filed a class action legal complaint accusing the company of not doing enough to protect riders from rape, which they claim to be direct victims of. "These allegations are important to us and we take them very seriously", an Uber spokesperson said.
Each alleges being sexually assaulted by Uber drivers who gave them rides home.
"Nothing meaningful has been done to make rides safer for passengers-especially women", reads a lawsuit filed against Uber today.
Those newly banned drivers had passed both Uber and Lyft's company screenings.
It cites the #MeToo campaign, which emerged on social media following the harassment charges made by numerous women against film mogul Harvey Weinstein, for prompting "hundreds, if not thousands" of female passengers to implicate Uber drivers in tweets reporting sexual assaults. In an earlier round of checks dating back to December 2015, the state rejected more than 4,000 applicants in a pool of 74,000 drivers. The company was banned in New Delhi as a result of an alleged rape in that Indian city, and MA denied licenses to more than 8.000 Uber (and Lyft) drivers based on more stringent guidelines in the state. Among them, 1,599 had histories of violent crime and 51 were registered sex offenders, the lawsuit says.
The plaintiffs say the screening inconsistencies highlight the "faulty and defective quality" of Uber's driver screening. The other was raped by an Uber driver in her apartment in Miami. Uber contends that some provisions have disqualified drivers for nonviolent criminal offenses such as drug convictions from a decade ago or more.
The complaint, filed in a United States district court in San Francisco, California, today seeks damages, stricter screening for drivers, insurance coverage for riders, and disclosure of the number of reports Uber has received about rapes, sexual assaults and gender-related harassment.
In addition to compensation for the alleged rapes that these women suffered, the women are asking a judge to order an injunction against Uber that forces the company to, among other things, implement stricter background checks on its drivers.
The suit is the latest blow in a year of controversies for Uber, including allegations of rampant sexual harassment in its workplace.
It's been a tumultuous year for the ridesharing company.
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