Lyft Received 100 Sexual Assault Complaints in California in Two Years
Los Angeles, CA (Law Firm Newswire) October 23, 2019 – A recently-filed lawsuit claims that ride sharing app Lyft failed to take basic action to prevent sexual assaults committed against its customers even after the company received hundreds of sexual assault complaints. Fourteen women have filed the lawsuit after they say they were raped or sexually assaulted between 2018 and 2019 by Lyft drivers while using the service.
In California, Lyft received nearly one hundred complaints of sexual assault over a two-year period from 2014 to 2016. According to the lawsuit, Lyft allowed several of the drivers who had been accused of assault to continue driving for the company and did not implement precautions that could prevent attacks, like installing cameras in vehicles, creating a panic button feature in the app or requiring effective background checks on drivers.
“Rideshare services need to take immediate action to prevent sexual assaults and ensure passenger safety, especially after individuals have complained,” said Betsy Havens, executive director of Los Angeles employment law firm Strong Advocates. “Apps like Lyft and Uber are often used by people who have been drinking, making them more vulnerable to sexual assaults. Lyft’s failure to act on these horrific complaints is inexcusable.”
Six of the women involved in the lawsuit said they had fallen asleep in the vehicle and woke up to the Lyft driver sexually assaulting them. One said the driver pretended to help her into her home after she had been drinking and then raped her inside. Another, who is blind, said that the driver stole her cane and then assaulted her.
In one case cited in the lawsuit, a California woman said that her Lyft driver locked her inside the vehicle, terminated her ride in the app and kidnapped her for over five hours. He assaulted her in the car and then raped her at a beach. The woman reported the incident to police, yet the man continued to drive for Lyft.
“This lawsuit is unique in that it involves so many women. Lyft’s response to each instance of sexual violence against passengers has been less than ideal. There is a lot of room for improvement in a situation that affords none,” said Havens. “Zero tolerance is the only appropriate response.”
Strong Advocates is a Los Angeles-based employment law firm that is proud to represent women who have been victims of sexual assault. To contact Betsy Havens, visit Strong Advocates online at https://www.strongadvocates.com/.