Uber, the popular ride-sharing service, recently disclosed that 3,000 sexual assaults were reported on its U.S. rides last year as part of its long-awaited safety study. In the safety study, Uber said it recorded 235 instances of rape last year and thousands of reports of assault involving unwanted touching, kissing, or attempted rape. The safety study also examined other safety categories such as motor-vehicle deaths and violent crimes, with Uber reporting 107 motor-vehicle fatalities and 19 fatal physical assaults. Uber reported that it conducted the safety study to show transparency and to improve its services for both riders and drivers.
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Uber released its highly anticipated safety report last Thursday revealing 5,981 incidents of sexual assault in 2017 and 2018. Although the report identifies 21 categories of sexual misconduct, it defines "sexual assault" as a reported instance of rape, attempted rape, non-consensual kissing of a sexual body party, non-consensual touching of a sexual body party, and non-consensual kissing of a non-sexual body part.
A federal judge said two women whom allege sexual assault against Uber drivers can to sue the company for the alleged attacks. One sexual assault allegation comes out of South Carolina and the other from Boston. In San Francisco, U.S. District Judge Susan Illston stated the accusations of sexual assault made against the Uber drivers may be valid due to the possibility that the drivers were acting in the scope of their employment when the crimes occurred. Uber argued that the divers are independent contractors, the company is not responsible for their actions, and the lawsuits should be dismissed. In addition, Uber made the argument that one of the drivers may not have even used the company cellphone app before the alleged assault, further indicating he was not working for Uber at the time of the alleged incident, independent contractor or not.
A lawsuit was filed against Uber after one of its drivers caused a collision in Miami Beach, Florida. The suit was brought by Richard Day, M.D. and his wife Jean Day. Dr. and Mrs. Day were in town for a medical conference in December of 2015. The couple requested an Uber ride, and driver Ingrid Parra picked them up from the Eden Roc Hotel. Ms. Parra immediately crashed into another car after turning into traffic along Collins Avenue. Ms. Parra was issued a citation for failing to yield to oncoming traffic.