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Lyft Hit with Lawsuit Over Sexual Assault Allegations


— September 5, 2019

Lyft was recently hit with a lawsuit filed by 14 women regarding sexual assault allegations.


Lyft recently came under fire in a lawsuit over allegations the company has failed to address complaints about sexual assault and rape. Filed in the Superior Court of San Francisco, the suit was filed by fourteen women and is seeking “special, general and punitive damages, among other types of relief.

Image of the Lyft Logo
Lyft Logo; image courtesy of Lyft via Wikimedia Commons, https://commons.wikimedia.org

What kind of allegations are included in the lawsuit, though? For starters, one woman alleges a “Lyft driver ended the ride more than one mile away from her house, locked the doors, told her, ‘I love you,’ and took her phone.” From there, the driver allegedly “pulled over the car so he could climb into the back seat.” Next, the suit claims the driver “grabbed her face to forcefully kiss her, at which time she slapped him, breaking a finger.” The driver then drove to a beach “where he raped her.”

The suit goes on to claim that Lyft has been aware of numerous sexual assault complaints since 2015 and calls the situation a “sexual predator crisis.” It further states that Lyft “has had an appallingly inadequate response” because it continues to allow “culpable drivers who have complaints of rape and sexual assaults lodged against them to continue driving for Lyft.” To make matters worse, the suit alleges Lyft has a history of failing to cooperate with police when “a driver sexually assaults a passenger nor does it require any sexual harassment training of its drivers.”

As a result of the incidents, the suit would like to see Lyft implement a zero-tolerance policy regarding improper conduct. Additionally, the plaintiffs hope to see the company “add a surveillance camera to the app that can record audio and video of all rides and require drivers to have it on at all times, adopt a policy for the mandatory reporting of sexual assault, as well as take other steps to increase safety.”

In response to the suit, Mary Winfield, Lyft Head of Trust & Safety said:

What the victims describe is terrifying and has no place in the Lyft community. One in six women will face some form of sexual violence in their lives — behavior that’s unacceptable for our society and on our platform. As a platform committed to providing safe transportation, we hold ourselves to a higher standard by designing products and policies to keep out bad actors, make riders and drivers feel safe, and react quickly if and when an incident does occur. Our commitment is stronger than ever, as we dedicate more resources in our continued effort to ensure our riders and drivers have the safest possible experience.”

Sources:

Lyft faces sexual assault lawsuit

Rape, assault allegations mount against Lyft in what new suit calls ‘sexual predator crisis’

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