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Estey & Bomberger Files Lawsuit Against Lyft on Behalf of Sexual Assault Survivors

On Wednesday, September 4, 2019, Estey Bomberger LLP – along with attorneys from Cutter Law P.C. – filed suit against rideshare service Lyft, Inc in the Superior Court of the State of California on behalf of 14 sexual assault survivors.  The suit alleges that:

  • Lyft has been aware of sexual predators driving for the company and sexually assaulting and raping female passengers since 2015.
  • Lyft’s response to the sexual predator crisis has been appallingly inadequate – Lyft continues to hire drivers without preforming adequate background checks, continues to allow accused drivers to keep driving for the company, and has failed to adopt driver monitoring procedures to ensure the safety of its passengers.
  • Lyft is also aware that many Lyft drivers have reported being sexually assaulted and has not taken steps to protect them.
  • Lyft has chosen to hide and conceal the staggering number of rapes and sexual assaults that occur within its vehicles.
  • Lyft has failed to implement even the most basic procedures for the proper investigation of sexual assault reports.

Among many other allegations. Please read the full complaint for a full understanding of the factual allegations:

Complaint: Jane Roe 1 through 1000 V. Lyft, Inc.

Link to the Full Complaint Here

Here is what we know:

The hiring of LYFT drivers occurs without any real screening. Potential drivers merely fill out a form online. There is no interview either in person or through a video call, i.e. Skype or FaceTime. There is no adequate background check and no biometric fingerprinting. Almost all online applicants become drivers.

We Demand that Lyft do a better job of screening and hiring their drivers.

Once a LYFT applicant becomes a driver, LYFT fails to utilize its own technology, including in – car cameras and GPS tracking, to ensure that drivers keep the camera running during the entire ride and that the driver remains on course to the passenger’s destination.

We Demand that Lyft use its technology to track and monitor rides.

LYFT does not have a zero-tolerance policy for sexual misconduct and has allowed drivers who have been reported for misconduct to continue driving.

Demand that Lyft immediately restricts accused drivers from the App, terminate those who have violated laws and regulations, and share that information with other rideshare companies thereby restricting their access to potential victims.

LYFT does not require non-harassment training, nor does it adequately investigate customer complaints of sexually inappropriate behavior or serious sexual assaults. Shockingly, a chatroom of rideshare drivers exists where they openly discuss and brag about the access that they have to women passengers.

We Demand that Lyft make it mandatory for all drivers to attend annual in-person sexual harassment/sexual assault training, as a condition of employment.

Notwithstanding LYFT’s history of hiring sexual predators who have assaulted LYFT passengers, and notwithstanding the obvious and open subculture of LYFT drivers who harbor a sexual motivation for driving female passengers, LYFT does nothing to warn its female passengers about this very serious and real danger.

We Demand that Lyft, like the tobacco industry, provide fair warning to passengers, and provide clear guidance and protocols for reporting sexual harassment and sexual assault on prominently placed placards in vehicles and on their app.

For more information, please direct all media inquiries to:

Ed Vasquez via email at evasquez@ejvcommunications.com

Or call the offices of Estey Bombgartner LLP at (888) 675-8555

Estey & Bomberger has represented survivors of sexual abuse for over two decades. Our attorneys have more than 56 combined years of experience handling plaintiff sexual assault cases.

We are a trauma-informed law firm and are aware of the long-term consequences that survivors of sexual assault face and how difficult and lengthy recover can be.  Because of this, we built a compassionate team of therapists, psychologists, and attorneys who all have significant experience working with victims of sexual assault.