Lyft is being sued by a gaggle of greater than 20 girls who say they have been raped or sexually assaulted whereas utilizing the ridesharing service. That is the second such lawsuit towards the corporate in 4 months. The story was first reported by the Washington Put up.
Mike Bomberger, a companion on the California legislation agency Estey and Bomberger LLC, informed Digital Developments that in 80 p.c of those complaints, the ladies have been drunk or one way or the other susceptible, and the motive force assaulted or raped them within the automobile.
Estey and Bomberger runs the web site UberSexualAssaultLawyer.com, and can also be representing the plaintiffs in a class-action swimsuit filed towards Lyft in September that entails 14 girls with related complaints.
“We now have over 100 complaints, and we anticipate extra,” Bomberger mentioned. “We shall be submitting extra lawsuits.”
A Lyft spokesperson informed Digital Developments in a press release that the corporate has applied 15 new options to spice up security, together with persevering with prison background checks and in-app emergency help.
“What these girls describe is one thing nobody ought to ever should endure. Everybody deserves the power to maneuver in regards to the world safely, but girls nonetheless face disproportionate dangers,” the spokesperson mentioned. “We acknowledge these dangers, which is why we’re relentless in our work to construct security into each side of our work. Meaning regularly investing in new options and insurance policies to guard our riders and drivers.”
In September, days after the final class-action swimsuit was filed, the corporate introduced it was partnering with the Rape, Abuse & Incest Nationwide Community, and mandating driver training. In Could, it introduced panic button was being added to the app.
Such fixes rely on a person being awake and in a position to entry their app. Bomberger mentioned a more practical repair could also be one Uber started rolling out final month: Recording the rides. All the rides.
“If an worker is aware of they’re being recorded, the speed of assaults go down exponentially,” he mentioned. “Proper now, Lyft is attempting to provoke security options that you just use solely after the assault has began. Let’s strive the novel concept of stopping the assault earlier than it’s began.”
Bomberger mentioned that on the very least, they hope to pressure Lyft to confess to the excessive numbers of people that have skilled related assaults. “We’re anticipating Lyft to attempt to do what they’ve completed for 5 years, which is conceal the variety of individuals assaulted of their automobiles,” he mentioned. There are presently no public numbers as to how many individuals are assaulted in rideshare automobiles yearly.
“Primarily based on what we’ve heard from cities and states across the nation, we all know the quantity is within the 1000’s,” Bomberger mentioned. “I’ve had lots of of calls since September.”