A California judge granted Levin Simes Abrams LLP’s petition requesting that all sexual assault lawsuits filed in the state of California against rideshare giant Lyft, Inc. be coordinated before a single judge. Oral arguments on the matter were heard on January 8, 2020 in Los Angeles, with attorneys from Levin Simes Abrams taking the lead on behalf of plaintiffs. In his written order, issued January 17, 2020, the Honorable Kenneth Freeman recommended San Francisco County Superior Court as the appropriate venue for the coordinated action to be heard. The plaintiffs in the cases at issue are predominantly female Lyft passengers who were raped, kidnapped, sexually assaulted, and/or inappropriately touched by Lyft drivers.
This is an encouraging development for the plaintiffs as JCCP coordination will facilitate the efficient adjudication of all pending and future sexual assault cases filed against Lyft in California. Coordination will additionally prevent inconsistent rulings, ensure each plaintiff’s claim is addressed in a unified manner, and hopefully provide a prompt path to justice. This is of particular importance given that safety issues permeate Lyft’s entire corporate structure: from its executives, to engineers who develop safety features, to experts who build programs directed toward women’s safety, to marketing teams who developed messaging regarding safety to customers, to data scientists who analyze the efficacy of safety features and the frequency of their use, to customer support agents who received and responded, or failed to respond, to sexual assault reports, to operations personnel tasked with developing and enforcing safety and training protocols.
Levin Simes Abrams will continue to lead the coordinated proceedings and currently represents over 100 clients who were victimized by Lyft drivers. The litigation is spearheaded by partner Laurel Simes, partner Rachel Abrams, and senior counsel Meghan McCormick. Associates Sara Craig and Mahzad Hite are also litigating the cases for the firm. The case is styled Lyft Assault Cases, Judicial Council Coordination Proceeding No. 5061.
Lyft passengers who have been assaulted by Lyft drivers can seek additional details regarding the litigation by visiting our Lyft sexual assault page or by calling attorney Meghan McCormick at (415) 426-3135.