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Sexual Assault Allegations Prompt New Lawsuits Against Lyft
Rebecca Ramsey9 months ago
The ride-sharing service is facing a wave of new lawsuits alleging that the company has failed to use better technology to protect passengers and has inadequately responded to reports of sexual abuse.
14 Women Report Sexual Assault When Using Lyft; Lyft Shows Little Concern
USA Today reports that on Wednesday, 14 women came forward to file a case against Lyft. According to their accusations, the women were sexually assaulted by their drivers in 2018 and 2019, and only one of the women was assured by the company that her driver had been removed from the app after the incident. This means that several other drivers accused of assault could have continued to work for Lyft even after reports were made to the company against them.
Several of the women say they decided to pursue legal action, speaking out publicly about Lyft’s inadequate response to their reports and lack of concern for their safety. In one case, the lawsuit says police tried to contact Lyft but were unable to reach the safety representative who had handled the assault report. In several cases, survivors say the automated responses they received after making their reports were impersonal and traumatizing.
The company is not a mandatory reporter, meaning Lyft is not legally required to report sexual assault allegations to law enforcement. When law enforcement does get involved, they must have a valid court order or search warrant to receive information.
As more reports of sexual assault are made to the company, Lyft has attempted to cover up the extent of the problem. They have kept investigations internal and, according to the lawsuit, they have not been complying with subpoenas.
Lyft Implements New Safety Measures; Lawyers Say It’s Not Enough
The company says users will have access to an in-app emergency button within the next few weeks. This button will provide easy access to 911. Lyft also announced in April that it will conduct continual driver background checks instead of doing them only annually.
Still, lawyers say the company should more rigorously monitor rides, calling for both audio and video surveillance within the vehicles and for messages to be sent to both driver and passenger when a ride diverts from its course.
Contact an Experienced Lyft Attorney
If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident involving an Lyft or other vehicle used in a ridesharing service or victimized by a Lyft driver, contact Thomas J. Henry. Our attorneys have the legal knowledge and resources to handle your claim aggressively and effectively. We are available 24/7, nights and weekends. Our firm has offices in Corpus Christi, San Antonio, Austin, El Paso, and Houston, serving clients across Texas and nationwide. Call us today for a free case review.