Arizona Lyft Driver Arrested for Sexual Assault
A Lyft driver picked up a passenger at 3am in Maricopa Arizona last week, and began what should have been a nine mile trip to her home. She had been drinking at a bar and was picked up from a friend’s home.
According to Maricopa police, the drive stopped multiple times during the trip and began to escalate harassment to sexual assault. The police were notified of the crime by the survivor’s friend, and found and pulled over the accused. He was found driving with his zipper down and was arrested.
Attacks by Rideshare Drivers
Both Lyft and Uber’s hiring practices and incomplete background checks for drivers have created easy opportunity for sexual and/or physical assault on passengers. Uber and Lyft have been caught hiring people with criminal records, and in at least one case a murderer.
Uber settled a lawsuit filed by the District Attorneys of Los Angeles and San Francisco in 2015 for $25 million, for what the government asserted was false and misleading statements regarding safety. They are now adding features such as in-app 911 calling to try and turn around a history of lax safety. CNN identified over a hundred instances in the United States of sexual assault, battery, or rape during rideshares.
Lyft and Uber Assault Lawsuit
Uber announced they would drop terms of service restricting survivors of sexual assault from filing lawsuits. Previously the firms used terms of service in their app to force injured women to settle cases in mandatory arbitration. Uber’s Chief Legal Officer Tony West wrote they “will no longer require mandatory arbitration for individual claims of sexual assault or sexual harassment by Uber riders, drivers or employees.”
Lyft adopted the same policy and dropped mandatory arbitration shortly there after. Levin Simes Abrams represents dozens of women affected by assault during or after a rideshare app ride.