If you’ve been watching videos on YouTube lately, you have seen a few ads from Uber where the ridesharing service emphasises its focus on the safety of passengers and a thorough vetting process for its drivers.
It’s something that Uber has been struggling with for some time, with the firm having to address discrimination based on gender in its own ranks, and even more concerning sexual assault claims against its drivers.
Regarding the latter, the latest case involves a Washington DC, resident who is suing Uber for negligence and consumer protection violations, as per The Verge, after the woman in question was sexually assaulted by one of the company’s drivers.
The woman suing Uber is only being referred to as “Jane Doe” at this stage, with the driver named Raul E. Rodriguez Vasquez. The alleged assault took place on 1st April last year, with court documents detailing that Doe spoke to a social worker about the incident, who later informed the authorities. From there DNA evidence was collected linking Vasquez to the assault, after which he pleaded guilty and is now serving time in jail (the period of time was not disclosed).
As mentioned earlier this isn’t the first time that Uber has come under the spotlight for this matter, with CNN reporting last year that 103 cases of sexual assault accusations were brought against drivers. Of those allegations 31 drivers have been convicted for crimes, the news site adds.
As for Jane Doe’s case, she is seeking $10 million in damages from both Vasquez and Uber for the physical and emotional trauma suffered as a result, but it’s unclear how much of the lawsuit each party will be responsible for.
The Verge has contacted Uber for further comment on the lawsuit, but no official response had been issued at the time of writing.