Possible Rape Allegations Spark Lawsuit against Uber

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A lawsuit has been filed against Uber in San Francisco by several female passengers who have come forward saying they were raped, or sexually assaulted by drivers on the job.

Two women are seeking class-action status for the lawsuit on behalf of all "female riders that have experienced rape, sexual assault or gender-motivated harassment at the hands of their Uber drivers." According to CNET, the two women are remaining anonymous.

The plaintiffs say Uber's background checks are “inadequate” and that the company has “misrepresented how safe the service actually is.” The lawsuit is proposing that the company changes how it screens possible drivers.

One woman from Florida alleged her Uber driver took her home and raped her in October 2016. The other woman, from Los Angeles, alleges her Uber driver assaulted her while she was asleep in the backseat of his car and then took her home and raped her. In both instances the women were intoxicated.

The following statement was released by the plaintiffs’ attorney, Jeanne M. Christensen:

"As alleged in the complaint filed today against Uber, the Company must come forward with information about how many reports it has received about rapes, sexual assaults, and gender-motivated harassment to allow consumers to assess whether Uber really does provide safe rides, especially to women. Uber must make drastic changes to prevent another female rider from harm. As alleged, the recent #MeToo campaign has exposed the heinous acts that female riders have been forced to endure during Uber rides. It is time for Uber to "Do the right thing. Period."

The #MeToo campaign, which went viral on social media last month, was a way for sexual assault victims to share their experience and show how large the problem is.

Hundreds of people spoke out against Uber on various social media sites, saying they'd been harassed by drivers. Female drivers for the company also came out with their experience with sexual harassment from passengers.

Uber claims that the specifics of each allegation are being reviewed, ABC News reports.

"These allegations are important to us and we take them very seriously," an Uber spokesperson said.

The lawsuit was filed in California's US District Court for the Northern District. The women say their Uber drivers assaulted them in two separate incidents, according to court documents.

California, Massachusetts, and Texas have investigated the ride-sharing company, claiming it “routinely fails to adequately screen drivers and has hired drivers with criminal histories.”

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