/  07.16.2022

Women are binding together to file multiple lawsuits against popular ride-hailing service Uber.

The new civil action claims multiple women across the country “were kidnapped, sexually assaulted, sexually battered, raped, falsely imprisoned, stalked, harassed, or otherwise attacked by Uber drivers with whom they had been paired through the Uber application.”

In a statement, Slater Slater Schulman LLP attorneys said they are representing 550 women with various allegations of assaults. Last month, Uber released its second annual safety report. In it, the company states there were 3,824 sexual assault incidents, including “non-consensual kissing of a non-sexual body part” and “non-consensual sexual penetration,” between 2019 and 2020. The report includes data showing 20 assault-related deaths and 101 crash-related deaths also occurred during the 2019-2020 timespan.

“You can’t trust the figures that they put out there, because that’s their own self-reporting,” attorney Michael Carney said. He added, “We’re finding out that we’re probably just looking at the tip of the iceberg here.”

The law firm argues that Uber has done little to provide its customers with resources to ensure their safety. Instead, they claim Uber has made turning a profit the priority. “Uber’s whole business model is predicated on giving people a safe ride home, but rider safety was never their concern – growth was, at the expense of their passengers’ safety. While the company has acknowledged this crisis of sexual assault in recent years, its actual response has been slow and inadequate, with horrific consequences,” read a statement from the law firm.

Thus far, the law firm said 25 lawsuits have been filed. Attorneys said the remaining filings will take place over the course of the following months. Uber, however, claimed that only 12 lawsuits had been filed by July 14. The company also hit back at claims of customer safety taking a backseat to profit.

“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,” said Uber in a statement to USA Today.

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