An article written by Ethan Baron of the Bay Area News Group reports that a Vallejo woman claims she was forced to flee out of the widow of her Lyft driver’s vehicle after he pulled into a dark lane, stopped the car, and locked the doors.
Gsa Gsa Ward has filed a lawsuit accusing Lyft of failing to protect her, and of negligent hiring. According to the suit, Ms Ward summoned a Lyft car just before one in the morning in April of 2019. The purpose of the ride was to take her from her home to a convenience store that was less than a mile away. According the the lawsuit filed in the San Francisco Superior Court, “Ms. Ward believed hailing a Lyft ride would be safer than walking at night,” and although Ward managed to escape, her left leg was left scraped and bruised from the window glass.
After running home, still in pain and deeply shaken, she received a call from Lyft before she had a chance to contact the company. During this call, the representative with Lyft said the company had received a report that she’d left the ride via the window. They wanted to know if she’d done sot because she didn’t want to pay for her ride.
The suit goes on to allege, “She also received an email from Lyft at 1:20 a.m. admonishing her not to ‘jump out of the car when it is in motion’ when she could ‘simply request that the driver stop to let you out.’”
This legal action comes on the heels of a mass tort filed by dozens of women alleging sexual assault by Lyft drivers. According to a report by the company’s rival Uber in 2019, thousands of sexual assaults had been reported during rides with the service.
In response to the lawsuit, Lyft responded with we at Estey & Bomberger, LLP have seen time and again from the company. They stated that safety is fundamental to the company despite the fact that these continuing and growing number of lawsuits illustrate that passengers are put in harms way on a daily basis. While Lyft has made some changes to their rider safety protocols, reports continue to emerge of drivers assaulting passengers. Until these rideshare companies put their customer’s safety before their profits, we will continue to advocate for the victims of their drivers.