In a 40-page lawsuit filed in San Francisco Superior Court earlier this month, 14 women accuse rideshare company Lyft of mishandling their claims of sexual misconduct and rape that occurred while using their service. The lawsuit raises new questions about the safety of rideshare services and what more can be done to protect riders moving forward.
Allegations Against Lyft
The anonymous accusers claim Lyft not only neglected to adequately vet employees with thorough background checks, but also failed to remain transparent in keeping victims informed of the status of their claims and the drivers they say assaulted them.
The incidents included in the lawsuit are alleged to have occurred between January 2018 and June 2019 in various communities throughout the country. Many are said to have occurred in the evening and involve female customers who had been drinking at the time of their alleged assault.
A Pattern of Denial
One especially troubling incident included in the lawsuit involves the case of a blind woman who used Lyft to get a ride to the grocery store during the day. Her driver allegedly offered to transport her from the grocery store for free before he proceeded to enter her home and rape her. She claims he turned off the app before deviating from the scheduled route.
The woman claims Lyft waited a week to respond to the complaint she submitted via the mobile app. Police closed her case after finding, “no evidence that the incident was not consensual.” Another woman notified Lyft that a driver had sexually assaulted her only to discover the alleged individual was still working for the company two weeks after her complaint.
The lawsuit accuses Lyft of electing to “hide and conceal” a pervasive “sexual predator crisis” from consumers, adding the rideshare giant has been aware of a sexual assault problem since 2015. Lyft offers but does not require sexual harassment training for employees. Company policy only requires cooperation with law enforcement agencies if they provide an official legal order or subpoena.
The lawsuit recommends several safety improvements including video cameras inside cars, technology that prevents drivers from disengaging the Lyft app while on a trip, and notifications to warn passengers when a driver has deviated from the route.
Because these services are relatively new, passenger safety policies and laws may not be as effective as they need to be to protect riders. At Freedman & Lorry, P.C., we understand the unique legal concerns surrounding Lyft and Uber accidents and provide effective legal counsel for your situation.
Bucks County Personal Injury Lawyers at Freedman & Lorry, P.C. Advocate for Sexual Assault Victims in Pennsylvania
Sexual assault is traumatic to victims in so many ways. Physically, mentally, and emotionally, a sexual violation can leave a lasting impact that is difficult to overcome. And when perpetrators are not held accountable, victims are retraumatized. The Bucks County personal injury lawyers at Freedman & Lorry, P.C. fight for rideshare clients who have been injured in an accident or assaulted by an employee when using these mobile apps.
Call 888-999-1962 or complete the online contact form to schedule a free no-obligation consultation in our Philadelphia or Cherry Hill, New Jersey locations. We represent clients throughout Pennsylvania, South Jersey, and nationwide. Our southern clients can visit our Pinehurst, North Carolina offices.