Recode: Uber faces United States class-action suit for driver sexual assault, violence

A man arrives at the Uber offices in Queens New York U.S. Feb. 2 2017

Those newly banned drivers had passed both Uber and Lyft's company screenings.

The proposed class-action also lists a number of stories about other women accosted by Uber drivers, some of whom shared these details via Twitter under the hashtag #metoo, which is created to allow women to voice their stories of sexual assault and harassment. This is no longer an issue of "rogue" drivers who act unlawfully. One executive who was ousted was about a woman who was raped during an Uber ride in India.

Internal customer support documents obtained from Uber in 2016 showed that more than 6,000 driver or rider complaints include the term "sexual assault", although Uber claims the actual number of assaults is far lower. Nothing meaningful has been done to make rides safer for passengers - especially women.

The lawsuit describes all the access Uber provides for drivers to commit sexual assault.

In addition to compensation for the alleged rapes that these women suffered, the women are asking a judge to order an injunction against Uber that forces the company to, among other things, implement stricter background checks on its drivers.

Uber, however, insisted that only 170 of those had claims of sexual assault and that the rest may have been "reports from riders who were making claims about sexual assault on other transport services, discussions about sexual assaults in the news, and reports about passengers who got into cars that were not Uber vehicles and were then sexually assaulted".

Uber, along with Lyft, in fact left Austin in 2015 after the city council approved an ordinance that required the companies to use fingerprint-based background checks for their drivers.

In the suit, filed today in U.S. District Court in Northern California, Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 2 describe being raped by Uber drivers.

The complaint contends that Uber is putting thousands of women at risk of being attacked by Uber drivers because the company has prioritized growth over safety.

The lawsuit, which describes the details of the assaults faced by the two plaintiffs, seeks damages for plaintiffs and to force Uber to take steps to prevent assault by drivers.

Here's one such tweet, said to be from an Uber passenger in Las Vegas in October: "This @Uber driver today pulled out his Man part (one eyed snake) and thought I didn't see him so upset here's the video #MeToo".

A spokeswoman from Uber told Global News in an email statement at the time that the driver was "permanently removed" from the company. He was arrested and charged with two counts of sexual battery, and Uber refunded her $9.51 for the ride.

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