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Sexual Assault and Ride Share Services

Apr 15, 2019

Are the ride share services that are advertised as a safe resource for those needing transportation truly safe for women? Both Uber and Lyft are being sued by women asserting they were sexually assaulted by drivers, and it’s not the first time. In response, Uber has taken steps to classify the types of sexual misconduct and assaults, and promises to release data on incidents reported to the company.

Here’s what you need to know, including legal options for victims of Uber driver sexual assault, Lyft driver sexual assault and other sexual assault in Pennsylvania:

  • “Last year, CNN reported at least 103 Uber drivers in the U.S. had been accused of sexually assaulting or abusing their passengers over a period of four years,” according to an online article. “At least 31 drivers have been convicted for crimes ranging from forcible touching and false imprisonment to rape, and dozens of criminal and civil cases are pending.”
  • That same article chronicled the case of a Washington, D.C. woman suing Uber for $10 million for negligence and consumer protection following alleged sexual assault by her Uber driver. In the suit, the perpetrator is depicted as an “agent and employee” rather than the independent contractor status that Uber maintains. “Uber typically settles these cases for undisclosed sums rather than letting them go to trial, according to the article.”
  • Similarly, a California woman sued Lyft following an alleged assault by the driver in her home while she was unconscious, according to a separate news article. The attack was captured on the woman’s surveillance system. The woman’s attorney called the attacks “pervasive,” referencing a CNN report on “seven specific assaults committed by Lyft drivers.”

Sexual assault and sexual harassment often go unreported. “Survivors commonly cite reasons such as fearing retaliation or that they won’t be believed, thinking police wouldn’t be able to help, or believing that what happened to them wasn’t important enough to report to authorities,” noted the article on Medium.com. Yet, these victims do have a case for a sexual assault lawsuit.

For decades, the attorneys at Raynes Lawn Hehmeyer have advocated for victims, working to hold responsible not only the abuser but also the institutions involved. If you or a loved one has been a victim of sexual assault in Pennsylvania, contact us.