Two Men File a Lawsuit Against Lyft After Driver Pointed Gun at Them
Two Lyft passengers have filed a lawsuit against the ride sharing company, accusing their driver of pulling a gun out at them back in September. They are seeking $50,000 in damages.
According to the lawsuit, former Lyft driver Jaleesa Rance, 25, picked up Charlie Calvin and an unidentified passenger at Sidetrack nightclub in Chicago’s Boystown neighborhood around 2 a.m. and they got into a heated argument after the two men told Rance she took a wrong turn. She became angry and allegedly pointed a gun at them, yelling at them to get out of her car. Rance then threatened to blast the two passengers and used a homophobic slur.
Calvin said he was shocked at first and then realized a gun was pointed in his face.
“We go from sitting in the back of the car, to the gun being pointed in my face,” Calvin said. “For somebody to react with that level of violence kind of makes me feel nervous — I’m kind of always on edge.”
Rance was arrested and charged with aggravated assault and unlawful use of a weapon. She has since been released on bond and her case is pending.
The plaintiffs’ lawyer, Bryant Greening, criticized the rideshare company for failing to enforce safety rules.
“The drivers aren’t trained, the drivers aren’t routinely monitored,” Greening said. “And a lot of times passengers and drivers alike don’t have any idea how to handle situations like this. We’re ultimately looking for a change in policy.”
Greening added that Lyft failed the community after one of their drivers allegedly pulled out a gun at two passengers over their sexual orientation.
Lyft released a statement about the incident, saying, “These allegations are disturbing. The behavior being described violates multiple Lyft policies, including our non-discrimination and no weapons policies. As soon as this incident was reported to us, we deactivated the driver and reached out to the passenger to offer our assistance.”
This is not the first time a ridesharing company has been sued for failing to keep their passengers safe. In November, two women, who chose to remain anonymous, filed a lawsuit against Uber after they were allegedly sexually assaulted by their drivers. The women claimed Uber failed to properly screen their drivers and protect their passengers.
The lawsuit states, “Uber has done everything possible to continue using low-cost, woefully inadequate background checks on drivers and has failed to monitor drivers for any violent or inappropriate conduct after they are hired. Nothing meaningful has been done to make rides safer for passengers — especially women. This is no longer an issue of ‘rogue’ drivers who act unlawfully.”
In addition to monetary compensation, the women are demanding for Uber to implement stricter background checks on their drivers.