2 women sue Uber, alleging sexual assault by drivers

FILE - This Wednesday, June 21, 2017, file photo shows the building that houses the headquarters of Uber, in San Francisco. In a move announced Monday, Nov. 6, 2017, Uber is pledging $5 million over the next five years to seven organizations that work to prevent sexual assaults, a move aimed at helping the ride-hailing service combat its own problems as well as society as a whole. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)

SAN FRANCISCO — Two women are suing Uber, alleging that inadequate driver background checks and monitoring left them and thousands of others vulnerable to sexual assault.

 

The women from Florida and California are not identified in the federal lawsuit filed Tuesday in San Francisco. Each alleges being sexually assaulted by Uber drivers.

Uber says it received the complaint Tuesday and is reviewing it. “These allegations are important to us and we take them very seriously,” the ride-hailing firm said in a statement.

The lawsuit seeks class-action status and alleges that Uber has done nothing meaningful to stem an “exponential increase” in sexual harassment and assault reports. It alleges that Uber markets to young women traveling alone and puts profits over their safety.

“Over the last seven years, Uber has done everything possible to continue using low-cost, woefully inadequate background checks on drivers and has failed to monitor drivers for any violent or inappropriate conduct after they are hired,” the lawsuit states.

It asks the court for unspecified damages to compensate the women, and also seeks court-ordered safety measures including fingerprint background checks for drivers and a panic button on the Uber app.

 

More