Is Uber Doing Enough to Protect Passengers from Sexual Assault?

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Uber has shot to popularity over the past few years as an alternative to driving, using public transportation or taking a cab. However, a recent Penn Live report may bring the rideshare company’s rise to a sudden stop. According to the story, Uber may have a problem with drivers sexually assaulting passengers.

In November, an Uber sexual assault reportedly took place outside of Pittsburgh in Ross Township. Per the report, a 46-year-old Uber driver allegedly made unwanted sexual advances on a female passenger. The passenger, who was sitting in the front seat next to the driver, was able to push the driver off her. After which, the driver drove her to her destination, where she exited the vehicle and contacted the police.

Does Uber Perform Background Checks on Drivers?

Currently, Uber is battling Maryland regarding requirements to screen its drivers. The state wants the rideshare company to perform fingerprint background checks on anyone who drives for them in Maryland. Those in favor of Uber driver background checks claim that holes in the policies of Uber, and its competitor Lyft, have led to violent offenders and sexual predators being approved as drivers in the past. Per the Penn Live report, Uber’s background checks in California failed, resulting in 25 drivers with criminal records being allowed to give rides to thousands of passengers.

What Can Sexual Assault Victims Do to Fight Back?

There are no overarching federal laws regarding rideshare companies, which means each state, and even cities and counties within individual states, can create their own rideshare policies. In some cases, companies such as Uber and Lyft have left areas, because it did not agree with the laws concerning ride-sharing, including requiring fingerprint background checks.

As long as Uber and its fellow ride-sharing companies are not willing to go the extra mile to ensure that their drivers do not have criminal records that include violent crimes and sexual assault, how can passengers trust that they’ll be safe riding in their vehicles?

Sexual assault lawsuits enable victims and their families to bring those responsible for criminal attacks against them to justice. Our law firm has experience defending the rights of victims of sexual abuse, including child sexual abuse in daycares as well as Boy Scout, Clergy, and Therapist sexual abuse cases.

As founder and senior shareholder of the firm, personal injury lawyer Stewart J. Eisenberg has represented victims of catastrophic injury and wrongful death for more than 35 years. He is one of the region’s most accomplished trial lawyers, with a long list of awards and recognition.