Uber may be facing a lawsuit soon from one of its drivers who was allegedly attacked by three passengers if it doesn’t improve its safety measures for drivers.
Is Uber in legal trouble again? It looks like it may be heading that way. Earlier this week an Uber driver in North Texas spoke out about an unpleasant experience she had and even threatened to sue the company if it doesn’t implement better policies to keep its drivers safe.
According to the driver, Zonya Robinson, she was attacked by drunken passengers back in March when she was driving the three passengers on a trip from Fort Worth to Haltom City. Minutes into the drive, she claims the “front seat passenger requested a sexual favor– and then responded with fury and racial slurs when she refused.” When recounting her experience, she said, “It was surreal…I was in shock.” She added, “He proceeded to tell me that they’re going to ‘f” me up, they’re ‘N’ killers.’ I felt like, he’s sitting next to me, he’s a threat.”
Understandably uncomfortable, Robinson then pulled over in Haltom City and “told the woman who summoned the ride and the men with her to get out.” Unfortunately, the situation only escalated from there until the police arrived. Robinson said:
“The first assailant threw the bottle at my face. I put my hands up, the bottle actually broke on my hands. There was blood everywhere, glass all in my hair, glass all in the console. The police officer actually cut his hand on the glass on the door.”
When commenting on the presence of the Haltom City police offers, Robinson had nothing but praise to offer. She said, “They made me feel protected, they calmed me. They were very angry that it happened to me. They made sure I was okay. They got it right.”
Shortly after the incident, one of the passengers, Konstantino Garefos was indicted for aggravated assault in May, according to the Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney’s Office. Robinson’s attorney, Larry Taylor, also said that “another man threw a bottle at her, but missed.” He added that that passenger “was ‘no-billed’ by the grand jury, but he is encouraging the DA’s office to take another look at the case.” He said, “He threatened to kill her. He called her the ‘N’ word. And so there’s still a couple of questions that have not been answered.” Taylor is the Managing Partner with The Cochran Firm and added he and Robinson are still waiting for answers from Uber. So far, the company hasn’t said a word about Robinson’s attack.
When asked about Uber’s response, or lack thereof, Robinson said, “There was no protection. There was no covering. I feel like I was disowned. They did tell me someone would reach out. no one ever did.”
So far, the only response Uber has provided is the following statement:
“Violence has no place anywhere and what’s been described is unacceptable. Our team has been in contact with Ms. Robinson and following her reports, we permanently banned the rider accounts from the Uber app.”
Despite the statement, Robinson and Taylor still believes the rideshare company should do more to protect its drivers. Taylor said, “With technology the way it is, Uber could easily have an Onster approach. Female drivers could push a button to let Uber know, track me, or I’m in distress, so Uber can call the police or a mic would come on.”
Its changes like these that Taylor and Robinson hope the lawsuit will bring about. Robinson recognizes that while there are certain safety protocols built into the Uber app, “when a driver is behind the wheel and an unruly passenger gets out of hand, an app is not the answer for that.” She added, “It’s not just about me. I want to see a response team in every city: when something like this happens, there needs to be a person that you can touch…They spent 5 million dollars to add extra added security for passengers. where is that same money for your drivers?”