SoCal lawsuit alleges Uber driver sexually assaulted woman who fell asleep in back seat

City News Service
Tuesday, August 30, 2022
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A lawsuit filed in Beverly Hills claims an Uber driver sexually assaulted a female passenger when she fell asleep in the back of his car.

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (CNS) -- A woman is suing Uber Technologies Inc., alleging a driver sexually assaulted her after she fell asleep in the back seat of his car in 2021, a ride she summoned because she felt it too unsafe to drive herself after drinking with friends.

The plaintiff is identified only as Jane EN Doe in the Beverly Hills Superior Court lawsuit against the ride-hailing service, which alleges sexual battery and assault, gender violence, intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligence. Doe seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.

"Uber's response to the systemic problem of the sexual assaulting and raping of their female customers and passengers has been woefully inadequate," the suit states.

Since 2014, thousands of female Uber passengers have endured unlawful sexual misconduct at the hands of their UBER drivers including rape, sexual assault, and physical violence, the suit alleges.

RELATED: Lawsuit with 550 plaintiffs claims Uber failed to protect female riders from sexual assault

On Aug. 21, 2021, Doe sought a ride home from Uber after a night of drinking with friends in downtown Los Angeles, the suit states.

The driver was about a quarter of a mile away from Doe's home when he stopped, went into the back seat and sexually assaulted the sleeping plaintiff, the suit states.

Doe continues to have "great pain of mind and body, shock, emotional distress, physical manifestations of emotional distress, embarrassment, loss of self-esteem, disgrace, humiliation and loss of enjoyment of life," the suit states.

An Uber spokesperson said the company would not comment on the details of the allegations and lawsuit, but noted that the company has put in place a wide range of safety features to protect riders.

"The details reported by the rider are horrifying," the Uber spokesperson said. "While we can't comment on pending litigation, we deactivated the driver as soon as the incident was reported to us and are committed to helping police with their investigation."

The company's safety features include means for riders to reach emergency authorities as well as monitors to see if a trip has an unusually long stop. Those features can be found at the company website here and in a video here.