An Uber passenger who claims to have been raped by a driver is filing a lawsuit against the company, saying it ignored warnings their employee could pose a danger to customers.
The plaintiff, identified only as ‘Jane Doe’ by the media, says an Uber driver named Yahkhahnahn Ammi sexually assaulted her in January of 2017.
Doe says she met Ammi after booking transportation on the ride-sharing app Uber. Before being dropped off at her destination, she and Ammi exchanged numbers, ostensibly to coordinate future fares using Uber.
TechCrunch reports that, on the night Ammi allegedly raped Doe, there had been a ‘failed attempt to coordinate the ride through Uber’s app.’
While Ammi wasn’t officially transporting Doe when the rape was purportedly committed, the lawsuit still alleges that Uber is guilty of negligence, negligent hiring and retention, violation of Missouri laws, the negligent infliction of emotional distress, and assault and battery.
The lawsuit also claims Uber committed fraudulent concealment, saying “Uber has a duty to disclose to its riders relevant information regarding the dangerous proclivities of a driver with whom Uber is connecting its riders through the Uber app.”
Doe reported the rape to Kansas City authorities, who are still investigating the incident.
The basis of the lawsuit alleges that Uber overlooked numerus red flags in Ammi’s criminal history and failed to take action when he abused another passenger.
Doe and her attorneys argued in the complaint that Ammi had served eight years of a sixteen-year sentence in federal prison for attempted first-degree murder, but had been hired by Uber following a background check nevertheless.
The suit also claims that Ammi had assaulted an Uber passenger in St. Louis, who reported the attack by submitting a “Serious Incident Report.”
The report said told Uber that “it is not safe to allow your riders to ride with him!!”
Although Uber had promised the alleged victim of assault a thorough investigation and potential disciplinary action, he was still active on the app and accepting rides several weeks later, when he met Jane Doe.
Uber is currently in the midst of an unprecedent amount of corporate turmoil. Despite its high valuation, the company is almost entirely lacking any C-level executives – Uber’s former CEO, Travis Kalanick, was forced to resign after facing mounting pressure from stockholders.
The ride-sharing app is under fire from other litigants, including a Texas resident who was raped by driver Shiv Yadav in New Delhi, India.
Yadav, like Ammi, had previous run-ins with the law, and was driving under an alias after having been acquitted of rape some years before.
“What’s reported in the complaint is deeply troubling and something we take extremely serious,” said Uber in response to Doe’s lawsuit. “We are reviewing the litigation.”