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Is Uber Legally Responsible for Crime Committed by Driver?

Is Uber Liable for Sexual Assault by Driver?

Car serviceThough the ride-sharing services offered by Uber and Lyft have taken most of the country by storm, the companies have not been without their legal challenges. There have been lawsuits involving injuries sustained by passengers of Uber drivers, and mass protests by Uber drivers overpay and other benefits. Now, a woman in Dallas has alleged that an Uber driver followed her into her home and sexually assaulted her. She has filed a lawsuit naming the driver and Uber, asking for $1 million in damages. Her attorneys say Uber was negligent in not learning that the driver had a pending federal weapons charge against him when they hired him. They noted that the driver was also operating his vehicle with a bogus driver’s permit.

Data provided on www.whosdrivingyou.org indicates that the Dallas incident is not an isolated one. According to the website, nearly 40 allegations of sexual assault or harassment involving Uber or Lyft drivers have been reported in the last two years, from California to New Jersey, from Australia to China and India.

In a similar incident in Chicago, an Uber driver allegedly took a passenger from his vehicle and sexually assaulted her in his apartment. She had apparently fallen asleep in his cab. Police say that GPS tracking from her phone shows that it was in his apartment at the time of the alleged assault, and that the victim was able to identify items from the driver’s apartment.

In the Chicago incident, as in Dallas, the driver did not have a valid driver’s license, even though Chicago has an ordinance requiring that anyone driving for a ride-sharing business must have one.

Contact Fritz, Goldenberg & Bianculli

In these situations, both Uber and Lyft could be found responsible. If you or someone you know has been the victim of assault by an Uber, Lyft or cab driver contact us as soon as possible.

To set up a free initial consultation, call our office at (215) 458-2222 or send us an e-mail. Evening and weekend meetings can be arranged, if necessary.