On March 15, 2018, Wigdor LLP filed an amended Class Action Complaint against Uber Technologies Inc., alleging that Uber has not only created a system for Uber drivers to sexually harass, sexually assault and rape female passengers, but also attempts to silence victims of sexual violence through forced arbitration.
Wigdor LLP originally filed the Class Action lawsuit on November 14, 2017 on behalf of two women who allege they were raped by their Uber drivers after being misled by the company that they would be transported safely. In the amended Complaint, seven additional women each allege that they were sexually harassed, kidnapped, assaulted or raped by their Uber drivers.
Today, Wigdor LLP has filed an amended Class Action complaint alleging @Uber has not only created a system for Uber drivers to sexually assault and rape passengers, but also attempts to silence victims of sexual violence through forced arbitration. We say #TimesUp for that.
— WigdorLaw (@WigdorLaw) March 15, 2018
Uber markets itself extensively as the best option for a safe ride home after a night of drinking while failing to administer stringent backgrounds checks, thereby risking the safety of thousands of passengers, according to the lawsuit.
The amended Complaint alleges that Uber has still done nothing to prevent women from being sexually assaulted by their Uber drivers, despite having known for years about the magnitude of the issue. “Instead, Uber has done everything possible to continue allowing these crimes to happen and is therefore complicit in, and a facilitator of, the illegal crimes engaged in by its drivers across the country on a regular basis,” the lawsuit reads.
Uber’s Message to Women: You Are Second-Class Citizens
The amended Complaint further alleges that Uber silences victims of sexual violence at the hands of their Uber drivers by forcing them into private arbitration. Uber’s Terms and Conditions require arbitration for any claims that arise out of use of the app, excluding intellectual property claims, which are the types of claims Uber is most likely to bring against others, according to the lawsuit.
“Forcing Jane Does and countless other women out of court would not only shield serial predators from state criminal charges, but also could shield Uber from its complicity in and facilitation of such criminal and illegal conduct,” the Complaint reads.
The Complaint also alleges that thousands of passengers are transported by Uber without the use of their own app; therefore, they cannot be bound to the app’s Terms and Conditions and forced to settle disputes in private arbitration.
Nine women say they were raped, assaulted, harassed, or kidnapped by their Uber driver: "As she fought her driver, he kept saying 'I need one minute, I need to kiss you'" https://t.co/VHkEfsp3Fz
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) March 16, 2018
The Plaintiffs are seeking injunctive relief, including requiring Uber to implement policies and procedures that will better protect passenger safety.
Statement from Jeanne M. Christensen, Partner at Wigdor LLP:
“Uber’s goal is to stop women from getting the justice they deserve through our court system.
Uber seeks to force female victims of rape and sexual assault at the hands of their Uber drivers into arbitration. Silencing women through this confidential process will prevent women from publicaly discussing their claims. Arbitration would prevent the public from learning about the frequency and severity of rapes and sexual assaults by Uber drivers against innocent women. The confidential process, and inevitable NDAs when completed, further silences other female victims who may have reported similar crimes by Uber drivers had they known about the stories from victims like Jane Does 1 through 9.”