Lawyers seek group suit over alleged Uber sex assaults

Lawyers seek group suit over alleged Uber sex assaults

A class action lawsuit has been filed against Uber, claiming that the company hasn't done enough to inform the public about alleged harassment and assault by drivers.

A new class- action lawsuit filed in California alleges ride-hail giant Uber has created a system giving perpetrators of sexual assault, sexual harassment and physical violence access to thousands of "vulnerable victims" nationwide since it launched 2010.

The latest lawsuit argues Uber's screenings for drivers only goes back seven years, reports Recode, mostly because the system Uber uses relies primarily on credit reporting systems.

Here's one such tweet, said to be from an Uber passenger in Las Vegas in October: "This @Uber driver today pulled out his Man part (one eyed snake) and thought I didn't see him so upset here's the video #MeToo". "These allegations are important to us and we take them very seriously".

Reviews of Uber driver applications by two U.S. states, Maryland and MA, have led to rejections of thousands more applications than under Uber's own system. The company was banned from New Delhi in 2014 after a driver allegedly raped one of his passengers.

It's been a tumultuous year for the ridesharing company.

"Court orders are needed to force change that Uber should have taken voluntarily", it says.

In addition to board room squabbles, Uber's newly minted chief legal officer Tony West will also have to navigate a trade secret battle against Alphabet's self-driving arm in addition to several federal probes into the company's privacy practices.

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Uber has successfully opposed state or national attempts at mandating fingerprint background checks in many markets, with the notable exception of NY and London.

But this complaint wants to re-litigate both those issues.

Uber, along with Lyft, in fact left Austin in 2015 after the city council approved an ordinance that required the companies to use fingerprint-based background checks for their drivers.

This isn't the first time Uber has received criticism that its background checks are too lax.

The unidentified plaintiffs allege they were raped by Uber drivers in separate incidents in Florida and California. The executive named Eric Alexander, who has since been fired, carted those files around for a year.

Uber, however, insisted that only 170 of those had claims of sexual assault and that the rest may have been "reports from riders who were making claims about sexual assault on other transport services, discussions about sexual assaults in the news, and reports about passengers who got into cars that were not Uber vehicles and were then sexually assaulted".

Tuesday's lawsuit says Uber has made the profit-motivated decision to "look the other way" when it hires and supervises drivers.

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