How Many Lawsuits Does Uber Have Against Them?

Ridesharing services such as Uber have revolutionized transportation worldwide. Riders can request front-door service and pay a reasonable fee instead of waiting for a taxi. Additionally, ridesharing services have allowed thousands of people to earn extra income.

Thanks to Uber, taxis are a thing of the past. Uber is a great option if you need to get somewhere quickly and do not have a car handy. However, Uber is not perfect: Despite its affordability and convenience, there are still risks associated with entering a vehicle: Disasters can happen regardless of where you are.

Uber’s Commitment: Safety Or Growth?

“At Uber, we embed safety into everything we do. We’re committed to continually improving the safety of our platform for all who use it.“ — an excerpt from Uber’s website “Safety should never be proprietary, and it’s our intention to make an impact well beyond our own company, encouraging others to be more transparent with their data and to share best practices that can make everyone safer.”, stated Tony West, Chief Legal Officer, Uber. Despite all of the claims of Uber’s management on the safety of its services, the reality is much grimmer.

Uber faces lawsuits in the U.S. over allegations of assault by drivers

The filing includes allegations women passengers “were kidnapped, sexually assaulted, sexually battered, raped, falsely imprisoned, stalked, harassed, or otherwise attacked by Uber drivers.”

550 Women Vs. Uber

One of the more significant lawsuits against Uber was a case filed at the San Francisco County Superior Court. The complaint filed said it represented 550 women – alleged that the sexual assaults occurred across the U.S.

“Sexual assault is a horrific crime, and we take every single report seriously,” an Uber spokesperson told the BBC.

“There is nothing more important than safety, which is why Uber has built new safety features, established survivor-centric policies, and been more transparent about serious incidents. While we can’t comment on pending litigation, we will keep safety at the heart of our work,” they added.

Uber And 998 Sexual Assault Incidents

Uber released its second U.S. Safety Report in 2020, which revealed 998 sexual assault incidents, including 141 rape reports. Uber received 3,824 reports of sexual assault between 2019 and 2020. Nearly 6,000 sexual assault reports were found in Uber’s first safety report, which details incidents from 2017 to 2018.

The lawsuit against the company claims that Uber has intentionally concealed the fact that Uber drivers had been regularly sexually assaulting women since at least 2014 and instead represented that Uber was “a safe mode of transportation.” Uber has become a platform for sexual predators to find and assault women without conducting proper background checks on drivers or providing sufficient safety measures for riders. Uber is also accused of profiting financially from rides where women were sexually assaulted.

It also said that at least 150 potential cases are being “actively investigated.”

Uber And Other Allegations

However, an Uber spokesperson told the BBC that the company had recently served just 12 cases against it despite all the allegations by patrons of the ride-share service. The reason for this is that Uber’s top brass have worked extensively to cover traces of negligence by lobbying top ministers at undeclared meetings and with the help of top politicians.

The lawsuit also alleges that Uber became aware as early as 2014 that its drivers were sexually assaulting and raping female passengers. The most severe categories of sexual assault committed by Uber range from non-consensual kisses to non-consensual sexual penetration or rape. Allegations of this nature are serious.

Moreover, the lawsuit may provide more evidence of Uber’s toxic culture, which makes it even more damaging for the company. A former Uber executive has made multiple allegations of malpractice. Among the evidence he leaked was Uber’s “kill switch,” which could be turned on by law enforcement if it came knocking.

A theme emerged from the leaked documents: Uber prioritized growth over anything else.

This lawsuit claims Uber intentionally concealed evidence that its drivers had sexually assaulted women. Essentially, Uber pretends its rides are safe when it knows they are not. Also, the lawsuit claims the company did not properly check its drivers’ backgrounds.

According to Uber, the company has changed lately and regrets its past behavior. In spite of this, investors are concerned that people will start looking elsewhere for their next ride due to all the bad press.

Uber Lawsuits: Company Ordered To Pay Out $161.9 Million Since 2009

A lot of people might be wondering, “How many lawsuits does Uber have against them?” Since Uber was founded in 2009, it has paid huge sums of money in legal settlements across the world, making it one of the world’s most valuable private startups.

As Uber continues its rapid growth, tracking the court battles forcing it and its investors to pay out has been quite a challenge. Since the company launched, it has paid out at least $62 million in damages and faced more than 170 lawsuits alone in the US.

$100 Million Lawsuit – Contractor Model at Uber

Three drivers filed a lawsuit against Uber in federal court in San Francisco, contending they should be classified as employees, not independent contractors.

This case was later turned into a class-action lawsuit that aimed to establish Uber drivers as employees, entitled to expenses, gas, and vehicle maintenance.

The contractor model is a key reason for Uber’s success, not the least because if its drivers were considered employees, they would be liable for social security, unemployment insurance, and workers’ compensation.

Uber settled the lawsuit for $100m on 21 April. Although its drivers will remain independent contractors, they will have some changes to their working conditions, including the ability to solicit tips and the prohibition of terminating them without notice.

$28.5 Million Lawsuit – Class-action Safety Concern

Uber settled two class-action lawsuits that raised similar safety concerns for $28.5m in February 2016.

Riders were also awarded a tiny cut of the settlement (less than $1 each) in response to complaints Uber misled consumers with safety claims.

A number of high-profile PR nightmares have surrounded Uber over safety concerns, including stories about the rape of a passenger in India and a recent shooting spree by a driver in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

$25 Million Lawsuit – False Safety Claim

As part of its latest California settlement, Uber changed its marketing language and said it wouldn’t refer to itself as the “safest ride on the road” nor its drivers’ background checks as “the gold standard.” It will also rename its $1 “safe ride fee” to “booking fee.”

According to San Francisco and Los Angeles prosecutors, Uber’s background checks were inferior to the background checks taxi drivers undergo since Uber does not include fingerprint screenings.

On April 7, 2016, a San Francisco judge approved a settlement in which Uber agreed to pay at least $10 million, but if it fails to comply, it will have to pay an additional $15 million.

$7 Million Lawsuit – Non-Compliance With Data Reporting Requirements

In January 2016, Uber agreed to pay more than $7 million to the California Public Utilities Commission, an agency that regulates transportation companies. The agency alleged that the startup had failed to comply with data reporting requirements. Uber appealed the decision but agreed to pay the fine so that its license to operate would not be suspended.

The commission accused Uber of failing to report operational data, including statistics on customers who requested vehicles that can accommodate the disabled. They also failed to report the statistics for the causes of Uber driving accidents.

$1.55 Million Lawsuit – Motorcycle Vs. Rideshare Injury

The client suffered spinal and wrist injuries in a motorcycle accident with a rideshare company in 2021. This was the largest motorcycle settlement in Tulare County in 2021.

$1.3 Million Lawsuit – Illegal Fare Collection In France: $1.3m

A French court ordered Uber to pay $1.3m to a rival taxi group in January 2016 after a complaint that drivers were violating the rules. Drivers for Uber were illegally collecting fares while waiting in the streets – a practice that is only permitted for taxi drivers who pay for a license.

$78,000 Lawsuit – Misclassification Of Employees

In 2015, Uber paid $77,925 to the state of Alaska after being accused of misclassifying drivers as independent contractors instead of employees.

State labor officials alleged that Uber avoided paying unemployment insurance, taxes, and worker’s compensation premiums by incorrectly classifying its drivers. After six months of operation, Uber ceased operations in Anchorage when it could not reach an agreement with the local government.

$20,000 Lawsuit – Unauthorized Access To Driver’s Personal Information

Following Uber’s 14-month investigation into its privacy practices and its use of the “God View” tool for tracking riders, the New York attorney general fined the company $20,000 in New York.

Uber was fined for failing to report unauthorized third-party access to drivers’ personal information after a data breach and was required to encrypt rider geo-location information.

$15,000 Lawsuit – Uber Driver’s Unpaid Wages & Unauthorized Deductions

Hephzibah Dollar, a California Uber driver who claimed to be living out of her car, filed a complaint with the state labor commissioner in 2015. The company allegedly owes her more than $15,000 for unauthorized deductions and reimbursable expenses related to her driving time.

In the end, Uber settled the case but disagreed with the woman’s allegations.

Undisclosed Amount – Wrongful Death Lawsuit

A wrongful death lawsuit filed by the family of Sofia Liu, a six-year-old girl killed by an Uber driver on New Year’s Eve in 2013, was settled by Uber in 2015 for an undisclosed sum.

In the wake of Liu’s death, Uber claimed Muzzafar was “not providing services on the Uber system” during the crash because he had no passengers. Ultimately, California lawmakers passed a law that requires ride-share drivers and companies to have liability insurance when using the app, including when searching for fares.

Undisclosed Amount – Uber Fare Surge Pricing

Travis Kalanick, Uber’s chief executive, lost an antitrust lawsuit accusing him of conspiring to drive up prices for passengers when a district judge in New York denied dismissal of the case. Uber’s algorithm for setting fares is challenged by Spencer Meyer, who alleges it drives out competitors by fixing prices this way.

Uber’s practice of “surge pricing,” which increases rates during peak demand periods, is the subject of the complaint.

Undisclosed Amount – Yellow Cab Driver Rights Infringement

A lawsuit filed in November 2015 by taxi owners in New York City claims that Uber has destroyed their businesses and threatened their livelihoods.

By allowing Uber drivers to pick up passengers via the phone app, the city allegedly infringed upon the exclusive right of yellow cab drivers to pick up passengers on the street.

Undisclosed Amount – Sexual Assault Lawsuit

According to the lawsuit, Uber targets its marketing toward drunk women but fails to protect them by regularly hiring people with criminal histories and inadequately screening drivers. The lawsuit was filed against Uber over two alleged sexual assaults.

Total so far: $161.913 Million

It is possible that many more will come forward with their allegations in the future.

Uber Criticized Over Safety Practices

Although Uber is widely used across the United States, its policies and safety practices have been widely criticized throughout the years.

Despite Uber’s claims about safety to its customers, criticism of its safety practices continues to grow.

It has been claimed by some alleged victims that Uber promotes itself as a safe method of transport for women, especially after a night out with alcohol, but the truth is that it puts these women in grave danger.

Uber voluntarily released an 84-page safety report in late 2019 in response to CNN’s report. This report was prepared with the help of the National Sexual Violence Resource Center and the Urban Institute, according to National Public Radio.

Based on Uber’s research statistics, the company had 5,981 reports of sexual assault in the United States between 2017 and 2018 – 3,045 were made in 2018 alone.

Uber’s report, however, did not end criticism against it. According to USA Today, critics, victims, and legislators are now asking more questions about Uber’s safety practices and the rest of Uber’s safety data that has not been released yet.

NPR reported Uber’s research ignored categories of sexual misconduct such as masturbation, requesting sexual favors, and verbal threats.

There are still allegations of sexual assault against Uber drivers, such as a 32-year-old Washington Uber driver who was charged with second-degree rape of a 13-year-old child passenger.

It is also likely that the number of Uber assault cases is much higher because many survivors do not report sexual misconduct or violent behavior. RAINN reports that out of every 1,000 sexual assaults, 310 are reported to the police.

In addition to sexual assault, rideshare companies like Uber have also been implicated in the victimization of LGBTQ individuals.

Uber took steps to appear transparent when it released statistics regarding sexual assault, but California demanded more information.

A $59 million fine was imposed by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) on Uber on Dec. 14, 2020. If the required documentation isn’t provided, the rideshare company might lose its state operating license.

A CPUC administrative law judge ruled Uber must comply with a January 2020 order requesting the following information regarding each reported assault:

  • Describe the circumstances of the incident
  • Time
  • Date
  • Location
  • Names and contact information for witnesses and “each person to whom the assault was reported.”

“The CPUC has been insistent in its demands that we release the full names and contact information of sexual assault survivors without their consent,” “We opposed this shocking violation of privacy alongside many victims’ rights advocates.” – A statement issued by Uber the day the fine was announced.

The CPUC has assured Uber and the general public that all information about the victims would remain under seal, and none of the victims’ information would be made public. The CPUC also allowed some leeway in identifying victims, saying victims could only be identified by a code or numbering system, not by their full legal names.

The company has since seen the report become a lightning rod for regulators.

What Determines The Value Of Your Uber Lawsuit?

More people are filing lawsuits against Uber. They allege that despite safety measures, they failed to prevent instances of sexual assault by customers using their platforms.

Most of these lawsuits allege the company failed to respond adequately when victims reported sexual assault and harassment incidents. There have been lawsuits filed for both negligence and violations of consumer protections.

It varies from case to case, but economic damages, such as medical treatment, therapy, and income reductions, are generally available.

In addition to economic damages, non-economic damages may be sought for mental and physical injuries sustained during the attack. Occasionally, the victim may claim loss of consortium, meaning that other functional relationships are nearly impossible due to emotional trauma.

While a lawsuit cannot alleviate the pain and suffering caused by sexual assault, it can help to alleviate the financial burden incurred by medical expenses, lost wages, etc. Furthermore, it can hold perpetrators and companies responsible for the actions and inactions they have taken.

Uber may also be liable for punitive damages for failing to provide a safe environment for its drivers and passengers. For victims of sexual assault by Uber drivers from 2009 to the present time, legal assistance is available.

Want to File Against Uber? From Now On, It’s Our Personal Interest

The process of filing a lawsuit can be daunting, especially when the attack is sexual in nature, but you can receive the most compensation possible if you hire an experienced lawyer.

Arash Law, led by Arash Khorsandi, Esq., has set the stage for you by connecting you with an experienced Uber accident lawyer. An aggressive accident lawyer experienced with Uber can help you determine if you have a claim, navigate the complexities of litigation, and maximize your compensation. Our firm has recovered more than $500 Million in compensation for California clients.

Call us at (888) 488-1391 or fill out the “Do I Have a Case?” form to schedule a free consultation with our dedicated legal team who can help you file a report against Uber.

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DISCLAIMER: Information provided on this blog is not formal legal advice. It is generic legal information. Under no circumstances should the information on this page be relied upon when deciding the proper course of a legal action. Always obtain a free and confidential case evaluation from a reputable attorney near you if you think you might have a personal injury lawsuit.

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