At least 103 Uber drivers have been accused of kidnapping, sexual harassment, sexual assault and/or rape by their passengers, according to a CNN investigative report published Monday, April 30, 2018. The investigation included an in-depth review of police reports, federal court records and county court databases for 20 major cities, according to CNN.
It is estimated that the actual number of incidents of sexual violence committed by Uber drivers is much higher than 103, however. In November 2017, Wigdor LLP filed a proposed class action lawsuit alleging that thousands of female passengers have been sexually abused by their Uber drivers due to the company’s insufficient driver screening protocols. Seven more women have since been added to the class action, further alleging that Uber is attempting to evade public scrutiny by forcing sexual assault victims to pursue their claims in confidential arbitration, rather than in the court system.
Uber has until Friday, May 4, 2018 to respond to the class action complaint in court.
CNN interviewed two victims represented by Wigdor LLP, both of whom were included in the investigative report. Speaking on the condition of anonymity, the women shared harrowing accounts of sexual assault by their drivers after being misled by Uber into believing that they would be transported safely.
On Tuesday, May 1, 2018, four additional women were interviewed live on NBC’s Megyn Kelly Today, along with Wigdor LLP Partner Jeanne M. Christensen, who represents the victims. In addition to sharing their individual stories of sexual assault, the four women also discussed an Open Letter that they—along with 10 other victims—sent to Uber’s Board of Directors, asking Uber to allow the case to proceed in federal court rather than attempt to compel their claims to confidential arbitration.
“People need to remember that Uber claims it’s a global company that’s all about transparency and all about doing the right thing, and if it really is going to ‘do the right thing,’ it needs to disclose to women just what they are signing up for when they click that app,” said Jeanne M. Christensen, who believes that Uber must come forward with data about the number of reports of sexual violence it receives in order to prevent future incidents from occurring.