A recent article on CNN money addressed the pandemic of sexual assaults caused by rideshare (Uber and Lyft) drivers and a plea by Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) for Uber to change the customer TOS and litigation practices so the victims of these assaults can fairly litigate with Uber and/or their attackers.
Last week Megyn Kelly Today featured a series of Uber sexual assault victims on NBC. The legal representation for these victims, Jeanne M. Christensen of Wigdor LLP (attorneys at law) has requested of Uber to release the victims from the forced arbitration portion of the Uber customer usage agreement (TOS) so they can legally action the drivers and/or Uber.
HOWEVER what Senator Blumenthal and Jean Christensen have failed to examine are the numerous instances where Uber has ALREADY litigated outside of their own TOS agreement with victims of their own drivers to pay off huge undisclosed settlements in order to avoid scrutiny in front of Judges and Jurys.
Not to mention the fact that NONE of these assaults, uninsured wrecks or deaths would have happened if Uber were regulated to include actual fingerprint background checks on their drivers, actual insurance validations on all their drivers and a clear individual marking on each vehicle to assure the customer and law enforcement that it is an actual rideshare and vetted rideshare driver.
This year Ride Safe has logged nearly TWICE the number of falsified rideshare drivers, sexual assaults committed by rideshares and uninsured wrecks committed by Uber and Lyft drivers over that of the same time last year.
Incidents with Taxi, bus, train and air travel providers remain at a staggeringly low number by comparison to rideshares.
None of the recent app changes or policy changes made by Uber have addressed or even deterred these numbers or the cause of these issues.
The app relaunch does not appear to address the issues of safety concerns with Uber’s services, nor did the company comment on the topic of racial or gender discrimination on the driver side.
Uber and Lyft have proven time and time again that they can not be accountable and will pay large amounts to victims in order to silence them and excuse the issue without ever preventing more incidents with simple regulations and requirements of their drivers.
Rideshares do not address these issues and instead write blank checks to silence victims for one simple reason.
It saves them money.
If Uber and Lyft provided real insurance, ended fraudulent surge practices, ended discrimination or addressed proper driver vetting and background checks, it would cost them money.
A good example of why it costs them less money to pay off victims millions of dollars to silence them, is best exampled by Edward Norton’s commentary on ‘The Recall Coordinator’s Formula’ in the movie Fight Club:
Recalls are still to this day performed in the same manner, using the same formulas.
What Companies like Uber and Lyft have done is simply to extend this fraudulent and malicious practice to new areas of the service industry and our economy.