Jul 14, 2022 - Economy

Uber sued by women over driver sexual assault complaints

People walk down Market Street past sign with logo at the headquarters of  Uber in the South of Market neighborhood of San Francisco, California, October 13, 2017.

Photo: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

Uber is being sued by women who allege they were assaulted by drivers who use the ride-hailing service across the U.S. and the lawyers who filed the suit say they represent “approximately 550 clients with claims" against the company.

Details: The lawsuit alleges passengers "were kidnapped, sexually assaulted, sexually battered, raped, falsely imprisoned, stalked, harassed, or otherwise attacked by Uber drivers," per a statement from attorneys at Slater Slater Schulman LLP, who filed the complaint in the San Francisco County Superior Court on Wednesday.

  • An Uber spokesperson said only 12 women have sued the company so far.
  • “The cases have been and will continue to be filed in multi-party complaints, which means they are not filed all at once as they would in a class action" a Slater Slater Schulman spokesperson told ABC News.

The big picture: The complaint comes days after the company released its second safety report, covering 2019-20, showing 3,824 Uber drivers and riders reported sexual assaults — a decline of 38% from the previous report, which covered 2017 and 2018, Axios' Ina Fried notes.

  • Adam Slater, a founding partner of Slater Slater Schulman, said in a statement that while Uber "has acknowledged this crisis of sexual assault in recent years, its actual response has been slow and inadequate, with horrific consequences."

What they're saying: "Sexual assault is a horrific crime and we take every single report seriously," an Uber spokesperson said in a statement to news outlets.

  • "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," the spokesperson said.
  • "While we can't comment on pending litigation, we will continue to keep safety at the heart of our work."

Editor's note: This story and headline have been corrected to say Uber is being sued and 550 women have claims against the company, not that 550 women have sued the company.

Go deeper