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Drama Looms As 550 Women Sue Uber Over Rape, Other Sexual Assault Claims

Drama Looms As 550 Women Sue Uber Over Rape, Other Sexual Assault Claims

Uber is being sued in the US by 550 women who were allegedly assaulted by drivers on the ride-hailing platform.

It was learnt that 150 more cases were being investigated.

The filing includes allegations women passengers “were kidnapped, s*xually assaulted, s*xually battered, r*ped, falsely imprisoned, stalked, harassed, or otherwise attacked by Uber drivers”.

The case was filed at the San Francisco County Superior Court on Wednesday, BBC News reports.

“S*xual assault is a horrific crime and we take every single report seriously,” an Uber spokesperson told the BBC.

“There is nothing more important than safety, which is why Uber has built new safety features, established survivor-centric policies, and been more transparent about serious incidents. While we can’t comment on pending litigation, we will continue to keep safety at the heart of our work,” they added.

The complaint, filed by attorneys at law firm Slater Slater Schulman, alleged that the s*xual assaults took place in “multiple states”.

It also said that at least another 150 potential cases are being “actively investigated.”

The lawsuit alleges that as early as 2014 Uber became aware that its drivers were s*xually assaulting and r*ping female passengers. But the filing claims that the company prioritised “growth over customer safety”.

“Uber’s whole business model is predicated on giving people a safe ride home, but rider safety was never their concern – growth was, at the expense of their passengers’ safety,” Adam Slater, founding partner of Slater Slater Schulman, said.

Last month, Uber released its second US Safety Report, which showed there were 998 s*xual assault incidents, including 141 r*pe reports, in 2020.

In the report, the company said it had received a total of 3,824 reports of the five most severe categories of s*xual assault between 2019 and 2020.

The firm’s first safety report, which details incidents from 2017 to 2018, found 5,981 reports of s*xual assault. 

Uber’s most serious categories of s*xual assault range from “non-consensual kissing of a non-s*xual body part” to “non-consensual s*xual penetration,” or r*pe.

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