BEVERLY HILLS—A new lawsuit was filed against Uber Technologies that alleges a driver sexually assaulted a passenger after she fell asleep in the back of the driver’s vehicle in 2021. The suit filed on Wednesday, August 31, states that the plaintiff is seeking unspecified damages.
According to the suit, the plaintiff only identified as Jane EN Doe, sought a ride home from Uber after a night of drinking with friends in downtown Los Angeles. When the driver approached the victim’s home it was alleged that he went into the back seat of the car and assaulted Doe. The driver was about a quarter mile from the plaintiff’s home when this transpired.
An Uber spokesperson announced in a statement shortly after the suit was filed that the company “deactivated the driver as soon as the incident was reported” and that they are committed to helping police in this investigation.
According to the suit, the plaintiff still is in, “great pain of mind and body, shock,” and experiences “emotional distress, physical manifestations of emotional distress, embarrassment, loss of self-esteem, disgrace, humiliation and loss of enjoyment of life,” after the assault transpired.
A report was issued Tuesday, August 30, that announced Uber is now allowing a feature for riders to chat with a safety agent while on a trip. The company stated that this new feature, which they have been piloting for a few years, is to assist both drivers and passengers if either are ever in a situation that may not warrant calling the police or other emergency assistance but is uncomfortable.
This latest suit that was filed with the Beverly Hills Superior Court stated that “Uber’s response to the systemic problem of the sexual assaulting and raping of their female customers and passengers has been woefully inadequate.”
A class action lawsuit was filed on July 13, 2022 after Uber disclosed that nearly 1,000 sexual assaults occurred in U.S. Uber vehicles in a single year. Uber disclosed that it received 3,824 reports of the five most severe categories of sexual assault in 2019 and 2020, ranging from “non-consensual kissing of a non-sexual body part” to “non-consensual sexual penetration,” or rape. These statistics came from the company’s second U.S. Safety Report.