Growing Concern for Uber Riders: Over 100 Uber Drivers Accused of Sexual Assault
Recently there’s been many Uber drivers accused of sexual assault. Last year, a woman in San Diego called an Uber after she spent a night out drinking with friends. She was intoxicated and had fallen asleep in the back of the Uber car. Also, she woke up to find the Uber driver on top of her, sexually assaulting her.
She reported the incident to the police right away. The driver, John David Sanchez, was charged with rape and 33 other counts of sexual assault. The investigators learned that Sanchez had videotaped himself sexually assaulting at least nine other riders.
Sanchez’ abuse of his riders had been going on for over five years. He had victimized women and children the same way he victimized the rider in San Diego.
We’ve now learned that over 100 Uber drivers have been accused of sexual assault over the last four (4) years. And, this only includes cases that were filed against drivers. Uber has failed to issue a statement with the number of drivers who have been accused of alleged sexual abuse.
What is Happening to the Drivers Accused of Sexual Assault?
To date, most of these 103 Uber drivers have been either arrested or charged with sexual assault crimes. Some are still wanted and have not been arrested. Others have accepted plea deals.
Many other drivers are the subject of civil suits filed by Uber customers. They have filed claims for:
- Forcible touching
- False imprisonment
Currently, there are dozens of cases still pending in the criminal and civil courts.
The problem is that Uber doesn’t screen their drivers strictly enough. And, they don’t conduct background checks often enough. It wasn’t until after these 103 drivers were accused of sexual assault that the company changed their background check policy.
Prior to the recent change, Uber would conduct a background check on all applicants. They checked both their driver’s abstract and their criminal background. However, they only did this check upon hire.
The company claims that they started doing background checks every two years back in 2017. They didn’t comment on how many of their employees had background checks come back bad. They gave no indication of how many of their drivers had been charged with sexual offenses.
What does Uber Say?
Uber didn’t really make a statement regarding the most recent charges filed against their drivers. In fact, they didn’t even make any policy changes until 2017.
Uber has confirmed that in 2017, they changed their rules to require annual criminal background checks for their drivers. The problem is, this means that a driver could sexually assault a rider in December. If his background check had just been run in November, he would be working for another full year before he was released.
Uber has put out promotional videos warning drivers and customers of the dangers of ridesharing. They say the videos are just part of their long-running campaign to provide safe rides for their passengers.
The company has also planned to create 50 nationwide forums for people to ask questions or voice concerns about alleged improper behavior at the hands of an Uber driver.
Uber also claims that they added language to their internal policies letting drivers know they aren’t allowed to engage in any sexual conduct whatsoever with their riders.
Another issue is that when a driver is fired from Uber for accusations of sexual assault, they simply leave the company and go to work for the rival company, Lyft.
How Can a Personal Injury Attorney Help?
If you or your loved one have been the victim of sexual assault at the hands of your Uber driver, you have rights. You can file criminal and civil charges against both the driver and Uber. Contact a personal injury lawyer today to discuss your potential case.
Although you may not think a civil suit against the driver will do much good, think again. You can name Uber as a defendant in your civil suit. Uber is responsible for any actions on the part of their drivers. Just because they say they conducted a thorough background check, they aren’t insulated from civil liability.
Your personal injury attorney can help you file a claim against both the driver and Uber. Also, your attorney will demand that you be compensated for your injuries. Your damages may include:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages or income
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
Contact McDonald Worley today to schedule a free consultation. Your personal injury attorney in Florida can help get you justice. They can also make sure the people responsible for your injuries are held accountable.