Fourteen people have filed a lawsuit against Lyft, claiming the ride-hailing company fails to protect passengers against sexual assault and sexual harrassment.
According to the lawsuit, Lyft knew that drivers were sexually assaulting female passengers as early as 2015, but it “continues to hire drivers without performing adequate background checks” or implement “reasonable driver monitoring procedures.”
“Unfortunately, there have been many sexual assaults much worse than the ones suffered by plaintiffs as alleged herein, where victims have been attacked and traumatized after they simply contracted with Lyft for a safe ride home,” the suit says.
One of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit said that during a Lyft ride in March, she was asked to pay with money and sexual favors, with the driver telling her that “gratuity is for pocket and yummy is for me.” She said she jumped out of the vehicle before the ride ended. She also file a police report, but was never told if the driver was fired.
Another plaintiffs claims she was raped by her Lyft driver in October 2018 after he told her he loved her. Lyft didn’t tell the woman if the driver was ever fired after she filed a police report.
Mary Winfield, the head of Trust & Safety at Lyft, said the experiences described by the victims have “no place in the Lyft community.”
“Our commitment is stronger than ever, as we dedicate more resources in our continued effort to ensure our riders and drivers have the safest possible experience,” she said.
Attorney Meghan McCormick said that her law firm has filed 13 cases against Lyft in the last month. She said the latest lawsuit should serve as further argument that rideshare company hasn’t installed a consistent system to weed out bad drivers and protect passengers.
“I would hope that it becomes evident to Lyft and the public that this is almost an epidemic,” McCormick added, “and these are only the cases we know about that are reported.”
The plaintiffs are seeking unspecified damages from the lawsuit.