Uber Sex Assault Lawsuits

In recent years, rideshare companies Uber and Lyft have replaced taxicabs in most of the country, and millions of people have used these companies for rides.

Uber has been facing a growing number of allegations and civil lawsuits from rideshare passengers alleging that Uber drivers sexually assaulted them. The lawsuits against Uber allege that the company should be held liable for these sexual assaults because it negligently failed to screen its drivers properly.

Recently, a growing number of sexual assault lawsuits with similar allegations have been filed against Uber across the country. These cases were recently consolidated into an Uber new class action lawsuit (In re: Uber Technologies Inc., Passenger Sexual Assault Litigation – MDL No. 3084).  This new MDL has over 200 plaintiffs and is expected to grow to thousands.

Our national mass tort firm is currently accepting new Uber sexual assault cases. If an Uber driver assaulted you, contact us today at 800-553-8082 or contact us online


Uber Sex Assault Litigation Updates:

June 23, 2024: Uber has previously requested the court establish a cutoff date for filing new sexual assault complaints in their MDL, arguing that such a deadline is necessary for manageability and finality. Uber cites the court’s previous indication that a cutoff might be appropriate.

There may come a day where this makes sense which is why victims who have a claim need to bring it now.  But that day is not today and it is not anytime soon.  A new lawsuit cutoff now is premature and contrary to the MDL’s purpose of efficiently resolving many cases with common facts.

June 22, 2024:  Uber sex abuse lawyers have jointly submitted two retired judges as candidates for Special Settlement Master: Hon. Gail Andler and Hon. Shelley Chapman.  Agreement on a short list of mediators for a global Uber settlement is a good sign for future progress.  Our attorneys continue to think Uber wants to settle these sex assault lawsuits long before they are ever heard by a jury. 

June 21, 2024:  Uber wants an interlocutory appeal on its argument that a non-consolidation clause in its Terms of Use should effectively dissolve the MDL.

The trial court ruled that Uber’s non-consolidation clause is unenforceable because such clauses cannot override the judicial coordination mandated by the MDL process. The court found that enforcing the clause would not materially affect the substantive issues in dispute and would disrupt the ongoing proceedings.

An interlocutory appeal is a legal procedure allowing a party to appeal a trial court’s ruling on a non-final order before the case is fully resolved.

We should win this. Uber’s request for an interlocutory appeal would not materially advance the litigation. Instead, it would likely delay proceedings, disrupt ongoing discovery, and hamper coordination with  state the California state court cases. It seems unlikely the court will let Uber stall this litigation.

We should have the court’s ruling in the next few weeks.

June 15, 2024: The first Uber sex abuse trial will likely be in California state court next summer.  The judge who will be trying the case has blocked off the entire summer for a trial.

June 14, 2024: As of today, 319 Uber sexual assault lawsuits have been filed in the MDL. That number will soon drop to 235 due to a stipulation to dismiss without prejudice 84 MDL plaintiffs who have cases pending in California state court.

The most recent claim filed last week in the MDL involves a woman who called an Uber in York, Pennsylvania in January 2024. Near the end of the journey, the Uber driver began making inappropriate comments, expressing a desire to pull down Plaintiff’s pants and engage in sexual activity. The driver then unbuckled his seatbelt, reached back to grab Plaintiff’s legs, and exposed his penis. The plaintiff managed to escape by opening the door and running away before further assault occurred.

Living in fear because the Uber driver knew her home address, the plaintiff eventually decided to move to another state. This traumatic event has significantly impacted Plaintiff, exacerbating previous trauma related to past sexual abuse.

June 10, 2024:  In a recent hearing, Uber’s attorneys contended that the rideshare app should not be subject to traditional product liability laws because it is not tangible property.

It does not seem the MDL judge is buying it.  Judge Breyer expressed skepticism about this argument, noting that legal protections should adapt to technological changes, even if the harm remains the same.

Breyer also questioned Uber’s argument that it should not be liable for assaults committed by drivers since these actions were personal and unrelated to their job duties. The judge pointed out that there is a connection between the assaults and the job, as the drivers’ role facilitated the context for these incidents.

The judge did not rule but we should survive both of these arguments.

June 6, 2024: In a new Uber sex abuse lawsuit filed yesterday, a woman alleges she was sexually assaulted, harassed, battered, or otherwise attacked by an Uber driver during a ride arranged through the Uber platform in Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana, on June 5, 2023.

May 30, 2024: In a new Uber sexual assault lawsuit filed in state court in California, the plaintiff alleges that she was sexually assaulted by her Uber driver during a ride to a medical appointment.

The plaintiff, who ordered an Uber to take her to various locations, was picked up and driven to a medical facility in San Diego. Upon arrival at her destination, the driver allegedly entered the back seat of the vehicle, where he proceeded to touch her breasts and caress her thigh in a sexual manner. The plaintiff asserts that this physical contact was non-consensual, and that the driver fled the scene after the assault.

The lawsuit claims that the assault has had a profound and debilitating impact on the plaintiff, causing ongoing pain, suffering, and trauma, and severely affecting her relationships with family and friends. The suit also highlights that this incident is part of a troubling pattern, noting that many other victims have similarly been assaulted and traumatized after using Uber services. The plaintiff seeks to hold Uber accountable for the assault and its devastating impact on her life.

May 27, 2024: A joint case management conference was held to address various procedural and substantive issues. The litigation, centralized in the Northern District of California, involves 297 cases in the MDL and 395 lawsuits in state court in California’s Judicial Council Coordinated Proceedings (JCCP). The parties discussed the status of case filings, coordination between MDL and JCCP, discovery, and motions, including the significant issue of forum non conveniens appeals and their impact on the case proceedings.

During the conference, Uber requested a filing cut-off deadline tied to the resolution of the forum non conveniens appeal, arguing that it would promote efficiency and resolution. Plaintiffs opposed this, highlighting the potential for continued trauma to survivors and the impracticality of an arbitrary deadline.

The court also addressed the progress of discovery, with Uber producing documents while dealing with privilege issues and redactions, and plaintiffs pushing for broader non-custodial data disclosures. Both sides are engaged in a complex negotiation over search terms and custodians to ensure comprehensive yet manageable discovery.

Further, Uber’s request to begin taking written discovery from plaintiffs was a point of contention. Plaintiffs argued it was premature and could retraumatize victims. Uber, somewhat logically,  honestly, emphasized the need for equal discovery opportunities to adequately defend the claims.

The court’s prior rulings have limited discovery to ride information and plaintiff fact sheets, with broader discovery potentially revisited in the future. The case schedule, including expert discovery and trial timelines, remains under discussion, with both parties awaiting further guidance from the court on these crucial aspects.

May 22, 2024: Uber’s attempt to use the language in its app’s terms of use to prevent the consolidation of hundreds of sexual assault lawsuits is not going to fly. On Monday, Judge Breyer ruled that the clause in Uber’s terms of use, which prohibits passengers from participating in coordinated or consolidated legal actions against the company, is unenforceable.

If the judge had ruled otherwise, the Uber sexual assault class action lawsuit would have ended. The judge said that while the letter of the clause would end the MDL, enforcing this clause would undermine the judiciary’s ability to manage ongoing litigation and interfere with the public interests that Congress intended to protect through the creation of consolidated litigation. He ruled that “forum-selection clauses cannot ultimately affect the inclusion of the subject cases” in an MDL.

Uber’s attempt to dismiss or transfer these suits based on a forum selection clause in its terms of use has also been firmly rejected. The clause requires legal actions to be filed in the district where the alleged assault occurred. Enforcing a forum-selection cause, the judge ruled, would interfere with the “public interests that Congress sought to advance when it enacted the MDL statute.”

May 3, 2024: A new Uber driver sexual assault lawsuit was filed recently in Massachusetts. The plaintiff was a Boston woman who claimed that her Uber driver took her home and then forcibly raped her in the car outside of her house. This case will likely be removed to federal court based on diversity jurisdiction and then transferred into the MDL.

May 1, 2024: 12 new cases were added to the Uber passenger sexual assault class action lawsuit over the last month. There are now a total of 252 pending cases in the MDL.

April 16, 2024: A new battle in the Uber sexual assault litigation centers around a disagreement over how to manage and produce Electronically Stored Information (ESI), specifically dealing with documents linked via hyperlinks in emails.

The core of the dispute is the methodology for retrieving documents linked in emails, as these links might point to different versions of the documents depending on when the link was accessed.

Plaintiffs argue that only retrieving the current version of a document might mean losing access to prior versions. Why is this important?  Previous versions could show changes, edits, or comments that are crucial in understanding what information was known and when.

The plaintiffs argue for a method to automatically retrieve every version of each document as it existed when originally linked in corresponding emails. They suggest a technological solution to automate this process, which they claim has been successfully tested. Uber counters this proposal by stating that such automation is not feasible with the current technology and would be overly burdensome. Uber proposes a manual process where they retrieve versions only upon specific requests from the plaintiffs and only if it’s deemed necessary and proportionate to the effort required.

Uber’s stance is that manually retrieving and verifying each document version is the only practical solution, given the technological limitations. They believe that automating this process, as the plaintiffs suggest, would require an immense amount of resources and could potentially delay the litigation. Of course, the last thing Uber is worried about is delaying the litigation.

This disagreement highlights the challenges in modern litigation where vast amounts of digital information must be managed efficiently and fairly.  This all may sound a bit like lawyer mumbo jumbo nonsense, but it is really not – cases like this that focus on who knew what are often won in the weeds of these pretrial discovery battles.

April 12, 2024: Uber has introduced several new safety features aimed at enhancing passenger protection, particularly for young female passengers. These initiatives were outlined in a press release on April 10. The updates include a RideCheck feature, which monitors the ride for any deviations or unexpected stops, alerting passengers to check if everything is proceeding correctly. Additionally, a PIN verification system has been implemented, providing passengers with a four-digit code to confirm the identity of their driver, ensuring it matches the one booked through the app.

Uber has also incorporated an audio recording feature, allowing passengers to record their trips. These recordings are stored in encrypted files, accessible to Uber only if the passenger files a safety report. Another significant addition is the Share My Trip option, which enables passengers to share their real-time location and trip details with friends or family members.

So this is all good stuff.  At least Uber is now trying. But it is hard not to assume that the Uber sexual assault lawsuits fueled these safety concerns after years of inadequate safety measures that put passengers at risk.  And if you are a victim of an Uber sexual assault, it is easy to see this as too little, too late.

April 9, 2024: A new lawsuit filed in federal court in Delaware claims Uber’s leadership misrepresented the safety of its platform in public filings and advertisements, despite allegedly knowing about over 9,000 sexual assault reports against drivers from 2017 to 2020.

This lawsuit is not filed by victims but by shareholders who say this misrepresentation artificially inflated Uber’s share price, benefiting company insiders through equity trades. CEO Dara Khosrowshahi and former CFO Nelson Chai, both named as defendants, reportedly made millions from compensation and insider trading during this time.

Of course,  Uber faces more than 400 lawsuits related to passenger assaults or harassment.

April 5, 2024: A new lawsuit was filed in the Uber MDL last week.  The plaintiff experienced sexual assault, harassment, battery by an Uber driver during a ride arranged through the Uber platform in Suffolk County, Massachusetts, on October 1, 2022. This lawsuit was direct filed in the MDL class action in California.

April 3, 2024: Uber has asked the MDL judge to dismiss claims made by Texas plaintiffs. Uber contends that under Texas law, it cannot be held responsible for the actions of individual drivers, highlighting that the 17 Texas Uber passengers’ claims lack sufficient factual basis.

Uber’s legal argument is that Texas law does not consider it vicariously liable for drivers’ misconduct, including sexual assaults, as such actions fall outside the scope of employment and are not aimed at serving the company’s interests.

Furthermore, Uber argues against the application of the non-delegable duty doctrine to intentional torts such as sexual assault, asserting that the plaintiffs have not demonstrated that Uber delegated its responsibilities to the drivers.

This argument will not fly. The whole point of the MDL is Uber’s failure to implement adequate safety measures to prevent sexual assaults because profits were the priority instead of passenger safety.

April 1, 2024:  There are now 230 pending cases in the Uber driver sexual assault class action MDL. A total of 43 new cases have been added to the MDL since the start of the year.

March 22, 2024: The MDL judge put out an order managing plaintiff and defendant fact sheets in the Uber Passenger Sexual Assault Litigation. It specifies the form, timeline, and method of service for these fact sheets in the multidistrict litigation (MDL) against Uber Technologies and associated entities, covering all actions transferred to or directly filed in this MDL.

The court resolves disputes over the content of these fact sheets, aiming to streamline information gathering for efficient case management. It includes both plaintiff and defendant fact sheets, detailing required information and documents, and mandates the use of BrownGreer’s MDL Centrality platform for data management.

The order sets deadlines for submitting these fact sheets, establishes rules for their completeness and service, and outlines procedures for handling confidential information and objections. Additionally, it provides for the production of ride receipts and sets rules for authorizations needed for releasing records, aiming to ensure a fair and efficient discovery process. This framework is designed to help manage the litigation, identify common issues, and facilitate the selection of bellwether cases, with an open door for stipulated revisions to the order or fact sheets by March 25, 2024.

March 6, 2024: The U.S. Magistrate Judge overseeing the discovery in sexual assault lawsuits against Uber has directed the rideshare service to provide documents related to government investigations into sexual misconduct by Uber drivers.

These documents may be crucial evidence in claims by former passengers who allege they were sexually assaulted in no small part by Uber’s negligence. Plaintiffs argue that Uber has not adequately disclosed these documents, particularly those related to inquiries by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).

Despite Uber providing a list of investigations and documents from other government inquiries, plaintiffs claim that information regarding investigations by the San Francisco and Los Angeles District Attorneys has been withheld.

The judge mandated Uber to produce all documents pertaining to the California investigation by March 8, 2024. However, the Court has requested clarification from plaintiffs regarding the discoverability of the Los Angeles and San Francisco investigations, with a response due by March 11, 2024.

These are the type of documents that can really make a case.

February 27, 2024: A Connecticut federal judge rejected a Lyft effort dismiss a lawsuit identified as 14-year-old, identified as Jane Doe, being driven out of state by one of its drivers, leading to her sexual abuse. The judge allowed Doe’s family to amend their complaint, challenging Lyft’s motion to dismiss on several grounds.

The suit accuses Lyft and the Lyft driver of negligence for not verifying Doe’s age, which resulted in her being transported to New York and abused.  Worse still, this child was wearing pajamas, a hoodie and carrying a bookbag but failed to make any reasonable inquiry of the minor plaintiff to determine her age… and he just takes her wherever she wants to go across state lines?  Insane. This is a strong case.

The court’s decision to let the family amend their complaint includes adding claims for vicarious liability and reinforcing allegations of negligent infliction of emotional distress, while dropping a claim for negligent supervision among others. The judge found the amendment timely and not futile, particularly noting that the driver should have recognized Doe as a minor, given her appearance with pajama pants and a backpack, dismissing Lyft’s counterargument.

Furthermore, the judge also rejected Lyft’s claim that the driver was not acting within his employment scope, highlighting that Lyft’s own policies on not allowing minors to ride alone suggest the company foresaw potential harm from such situations. The judge further rejected Lyft’s stance on the negligent infliction of emotional distress claim and decided to wait on a relevant state supreme court decision regarding the familial consortium claim, indicating the legal landscape might soon clarify this issue.

February 17, 2024: The master complaint in the MDL filed on Friday accuses Uber of knowing for nearly a decade that its drivers were sexually assaulting passengers without implementing effective policies to prevent such crimes.

What is a master complaint in an MDL?  A master complaint serves as a consolidated document that outlines the common allegations and legal claims brought forth by the plaintiffs.  The master complaint integrates the collective grievances and demands for relief from the individual lawsuits within the MDL, providing a unified legal basis for the litigation. This approach helps us drill down on what the core issues really are.

The master complaint argues that despite being aware since 2014 of the assaults, Uber allegedly prioritized rapid expansion and profits over passenger safety, neglecting to adopt stricter safety measures like biometric checks, in-car cameras, or enhanced background screenings.  The complaint criticizes Uber’s superficial safety efforts and accuses it of allowing drivers with histories of sexual misconduct to continue operating, seeking both compensatory and punitive damages.

February 4, 2024: Uber tried last week to convince the MDLD judge to halt the 399 Uber sex abuse lawsuits pending in the MDL from passengers who claim they were sexually assaulted by rideshare drivers, pending an appeal decision on whether to reverse the centralization of these cases by the US Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation. The argument did not seem to go well for Uber.

Uber argued against the panel’s decision to centralize the lawsuits into a federal court in San Francisco, citing an abuse of discretion and a failure to consider the varied state laws applicable to the cases. One problem for Uber:  the absence of any appellate court decisions overturning the Panel on Multidistrict Litigation’s centralization decisions in the Panel’s 55 year history.

February 2, 2024: 4 new cases were added to the Uber passenger sexual assault class action MDL over the last month. That brings the total number of cases pending in the MDL up to 99.


Uber Sexual Assaults

Uber has become a major company with billions in revenue. Uber drivers transport millions of passengers every year in all 50 states in the U.S. Uber drivers are technically not employees but rather independent contractors.

Over the last decade, Uber has been facing a steadily growing tide of complaints, public scrutiny, and civil lawsuits involving Uber drivers detaining and sexually assaulting their rideshare passengers. Ever since Uber started getting really big, complaints and stories have regularly surfaced about Uber drivers subjecting their passengers to sexual assault. The incidents often follow a similar pattern in which an Uber driver gets a vulnerable passenger in the vehicle. Instead of taking them to their destination, take them to a secluded area and sexually assault them in the car.

According to Uber’s own safety and incident reporting data, Uber receives an average of 3,000 to 7,000 reports of alleged sexual assault from Uber passengers each year. The majority of these involve allegations of non-consensual sexual touching. But a smaller percentage of the incidents involve much more severe allegations, including forcible rape. Of course, these are just the numbers self-reported by Uber, and they probably do not reflect the true level.

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Allegations in Uber Sexual Assault Lawsuits

Uber has recently found itself named as a defendant in a growing number of civil lawsuits filed by rideshare passengers who claim that an Uber driver sexually assaulted them. The lawsuits accuse Uber of failing to properly screen and perform background checks on Uber drivers before hiring them.

The Uber sexual assault lawsuits claim that the company was not concerned only with rapid growth and had no concern for passenger safety. They claim that Uber made it possible for Uber drivers to sign up. To do this, Uber used a background check system designed to get drivers approved as quickly and conveniently as possible.

Uber used a company called Hirease, Inc. to do its background checks. Hirease brags that it can vet drivers within 36 hours. To have such a short turnaround, Uber disregarded industry standards used by other taxi companies and livery services. For example, it abandoned fingerprinting and ran applicant drivers against private databases, such as FBI records. These shortcuts led to growth for Uber.

But according to the lawsuits, they put Uber passengers in danger. At one point, Uber was so fixated on growth that it began mailing cell phones to applicant drivers so they could begin driving before Uber’s cursory and ineffective background check was even complete.

The lawsuits also allege that executives at Uber decided not to interview drivers or train drivers to ensure Uber’s drivers understood their responsibilities and what was appropriate and inappropriate when interacting with passengers. They also accused Uber of declining to implement policies to protect passengers from sexual assault—policies such as a zero-tolerance policy concerning fraternizing or making sexual advances towards passengers, and most certainly with respect to engaging in sexual activity with or sexual touching of passengers.

The lawsuits contend that Uber’s disregard of these policies and its deliberate decision to use a shallow and cursory background check process for drivers was negligent and that it resulted in increased rates of sexual assaults by Uber drivers.

Uber Sexual Assault Class Action

There is now an Uber class action lawsuit for sexual assault cases. Actually, that statement is not technically correct.  This is an MDL, not a class action.  Our sexual abuse lawyers call it a class action because that is what people call it.  But an MDL is actually a little different.

An MDL is a legal procedure used in federal court systems to consolidate multiple civil cases that share common factual issues into a single district court. This process streamlines pretrial proceedings, including discovery and motions, to increase efficiency, reduce court costs, and ensure consistent rulings across similar cases. Every Uber sexual assault lawsuit will have the same elements of what Uber knew about the sexual assault of its clients and what it did to try to keep women safe.  In the Uber MDL, pretrial discovery will be the same for all Uber sex abuse lawsuits.

In October 2023, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) agreed to consolidate all of the pending Uber sexual assault cases in federal courts into a new class action MDL. The Uber sexual assault MDL has been assigned to a judge in the Northern District of California.

This means that all future Uber sexual assault cases filed in federal court will be automatically transferred into the MDL. The cases in the MDL will go through the process of consolidated discovery. Then, a handful of representative cases will be selected for bellwether test trials. The results of these test trials are then supposed to be used to help both sides negotiate some type of settlement, with the test trials giving them some idea of what to expect if the rest of the cases went to trial.

So if you have a federal court Uber sex abuse lawsuit in New York, Florida, Texas, Illinois, or any other state, your lawsuit will be transferred to California for consolidated proceedings.  If there is not an Uber sexual assault settlement that comes out of the MDL, your case will get returned to federal court in your state.

Our rideshare sexual assault attorneys expect the documents revealed during the pretrial discovery process will be damning.  They will highlight the extent of the issue of sexual assault from drivers to riders. The cases, which include allegations ranging from groping to kidnapping to rape.

The specific grouping of cases in this sexual assault MDL involves incidents where passengers were the victims of alleged sexual assault by Uber drivers. The good thing is that a class action lawsuit will make a global Uber sexual assault settlement easier to put together.

The specific grouping of cases in this MDL involves incidents where passengers were the victims of alleged sexual assault by Uber drivers. The victims claim that Uber has the capacity to make rides safer but has been slow and inadequate in its response. They criticize Uber for substandard background checks and failing to remove drivers after allegations of sexual assault. They suggest that the platform could be made safer with measures like fingerprint background checks and dashcam recordings of every ride.

This MDL is a critical juncture for Uber, highlighting the urgency and complexity of addressing passenger safety in the rideshare industry. It also represents a significant moment in legal history, as it’s the first time a federal judge will oversee such a broad spectrum of cases against Uber, aiming to streamline the proceedings and clarify many individual claims.

How to Determine Settlement Compensation or Jury Awards in Sexual Assault Lawsuits Against Uber

Determining settlement compensation and jury payouts in Uber sexual assault lawsuits involves a variety of variables, and the variables have different weights.

  1. Severity of the Assault: The nature and severity of the sexual assault play a crucial role. More severe or violent assaults often result in higher settlements or awards. There are Uber rape cases and Uber sexual harassment cases.  The settlement compensation for the latter, all things being equal, will be lower.
  2. Physical Injuries: The extent and nature of any physical injuries sustained by the victim can significantly impact the amount. As you would expect, more severe physical injuries typically lead to higher compensation. That said, some of the most serious rideshare lawsuits have no physical injury.
  3. Emotional and Psychological Trauma: Sexual assault often results in long-lasting emotional and psychological harm. The severity of this trauma and its impact on the victim’s life are critical factors.
  4. Medical and Therapy Costs: The cost of medical treatment and psychological counseling required as a result of the assault is usually recoverable. This includes both past and future expected costs. Are these costs necessary to bring a viable claim? Of course not.
  5. Punitive Damages: Our lawyers talk more about this below. In some cases, punitive damages may be awarded to punish egregious conduct and deter similar acts in the future. The likelihood and amount of punitive damages depend on the defendant’s behavior.
  6. Defendant’s Ability to Pay: In every case, we are worried if the defendant can pay. This is not a variable in the Uber cases where we can find Uber responsible.  They have endless money for settlements and verdicts, which impacts value because the same case would be worth much less if it were a taxi company.
  7. Publicity and Reputational Considerations: Uber desperately avoids negative publicity in high-profile cases.  Uber does not want to try cases; it wants iron-tight confidentiality clauses when it settles them.
  8. Age and Vulnerability of the Victim: The victim’s age and any vulnerabilities may be considered, especially in cases involving children or individuals with disabilities. You will see below a rideshare lawsuit involving an 11-year-old girl.  Of course, that drives settlement compensation.
  9. Case Strength and Evidence:  You need to be able to make your case at trial.  The strength of the case, including the availability and quality of evidence, will impact not only the likelihood of winning at trial but also the amount of a settlement or award. What makes for strong evidence in a sexual assault lawsuit?  A credible plaintiff. That alone is often enough.

Settlement Amounts for Uber Sexual Assault Lawsuits

Most mass tort MDLs eventually get resolved in a global settlement deal in which the defendant pays a large sum of money to resolve all pending cases. Individual cases are then ranked into tiers based on various factors such as strength of evidence and severity of injuries. Cases in the highest tiers get bigger settlement payouts than those in the lower tiers.

Our mass tort lawyers think that the settlement tier values for Uber sexual assault cases could be in the range of $100,000 to $400,000. Cases in the highest tiers will be those involving forcible rape with strong evidence. Lower-tier cases will be those involving lesser degrees of sexual assault.

Of course, it is early in this litigation.  We have a long way to go.  If you want to call our estimated average Uber sexual assault settlement to be a guess, that would not be unfair.  But we think people want to know what lawyers predict regarding settlement payouts, so we provide it here.

Sexual Assault Verdicts and Settlements

Below are summaries of settlements and verdicts in sexual assault cases involving situations similar to Uber driver sexual assaults.  What we are trying to do here is give you an idea of how similar cases play out.  Obviously, there are limits and how instructive a scattering of jury payout and settlement amounts in sexual assault cases is to understanding appropriate compensation.  But they are one tool of many to understand better how to value a sexual assault lawsuit.

  • $130,000 Verdict (Oregon): The plaintiff was a front-seat passenger in a taxi cab driven by the defendant’s driver. The plaintiff contended the driver rubbed her leg, groped her breast, grabbed her hand, placed it on his groin, and tried to kiss her without her consent. The event was captured with black and white still images from the taxi cab. The defendant admitted liability, and the only issue at trial was damages.
  • $9,000,000 Settlement (Pennsylvania): A man – an evil man – orchestrated a meeting with an 11-year-old via Instagram. He used Lyft to transport the girl to a Days Inn hotel, where he sexually assaulted her. The girl’s rideshare sexual assault attorneys sued Lyft and, later, the Days Inn because it did not take sufficient actions to prevent the incident. The lawsuit, filed by the girl and her mother, accused Lyft of failing to enforce its policy against drivers transporting unaccompanied minors, as Lyft drivers transported the girl to meet the assailant.  Lyft and two Days Inn hotels agreed to a $9 million settlement payout to settle their sexual assault lawsuit.
  • $400,000 Settlement (Virginia):  An unemployed singer and actress in her early 30s allegedly was raped by the male co-defendant taxi driver. The plaintiff claimed posttraumatic stress disorder as a result of the alleged assault. The co-defendant offered to drive the plaintiff to a hospital emergency room with an injured friend and subsequently engaged in sexual intercourse in the taxi. The plaintiff contended that the co-defendant raped her. The defendants contended that the intercourse was voluntary, and the defendant cab company contended that the co-defendant was not on duty.
  • $620,000 Settlement (California): The plaintiff was a mentally disabled woman in her 30s who relied on cab service to get around. The defendant was her regular cab driver, and he sexually assaulted her numerous times. The plaintiff had repeatedly asked the disability cab service for a different driver, but nothing was done. The driver allegedly fondled her breasts and genitals by means of force and deceit. The plaintiff said she did not consent to the touching. The plaintiff also said that the defendant would force her to sit beside him and would drive to an alley behind her home, lock the doors, restrain her, and sexually assault her.

Punitive Damages May Drive Uber Sexual Assault Settlement Payouts

Every Uber rideshare sexual assault lawsuit will allege that the company has been aware at least since 2014 of ongoing issues with sexual predators among its drivers assaulting passengers. Despite numerous passenger complaints, police investigations, and legal actions related to driver misconduct, Uber failed to take adequate safety measures to protect its passengers. Uber’s executives consciously chose not to enforce stringent background checks for drivers.

Why? These suits allege that the company put women’s safety on the back burner to satisfy its passion for rapid expansion and profit maximization. To expand, you need drivers and lots of them. This decision to prioritize financial growth over passenger safety led to the neglect of implementing crucial safety precautions.

Uber could have done the right thing and put in safety measures, including thorough background checks, biometric fingerprinting, job interviews, electronic monitoring systems, and strict policies against driver misconduct. Why not?

Again, these precautions were allegedly deemed costly and potentially damaging Uber’s reputation. So under its executive officers’ direction, Uber chose to overlook these essential safety practices, putting passengers at increased risk of assault, rape, kidnapping, and exploitation.

Not in every jurisdiction, but in many, these allegations will allow attorneys for sexual assault victims to submit punitive damages to a jury. Punitive damages are financial penalties imposed on a defendant in a lawsuit intended to punish particularly harmful behavior and deter similar misconduct in the future. Unlike compensatory damages, which aim to compensate the victim for their loss, punitive damages are awarded when the defendant’s actions are deemed especially egregious or recklessly negligent.

Our attorneys think juries will be primed to award significant punitive damages in cases where a defendant’s failure to protect women’s safety is found to be egregiously negligent or indicative of a disregard for the well-being of others. These substantial financial penalties are imposed to punish the defendant for their neglect and serve as a strong deterrent against similar neglectful behavior. Uber knows this, and this risk will increase settlement amounts for every rideshare sexual assault lawsuit.

Contact an Uber Sexual Assault Lawyer Today

Our national mass tort lawyers are currently investigating Uber sexual assault cases for placement in the MDL. If an Uber driver sexually assaulted you, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit and participate in any settlement. Contact our sexual assault lawyers today at 800-553-8082 or contact us online for a free consultation.

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