Uber Faces Lawsuits from Female Passengers Who Allege Rape

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The two plaintiffs, known as Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 2, are asking the court to order the ride-hailing company to strengthen many of its driver screening practices, reported Recode, a technology news site.

Uber continues to face scrutiny over its background check policies, this time in the form of a class-action lawsuit started by two unidentified women, who allege that they were sexually assaulted by Uber drivers.

This type of an accusation is familiar to Uber, which was sued by a woman in India who said that her driver not only raped her but that executives at Uber illegally obtained medical records of hers when then tried to discredit her. They also allege Uber misrepresented the safety of using the service. In a statement to CNN, the company said it was reviewing the complaint, adding that "These allegations are important to us and we take them very seriously".

The complaint states that Uber uses "low-cost, woefully inadequate background checks" for their drivers and does not monitor drivers for "violent or inappropriate conduct after they are hired".

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The women from Florida and California are not identified in the federal lawsuit filed Tuesday in San Francisco.

"This is no longer an issue of "rogue" drivers who act unlawfully", reads the suit. "Nothing meaningful has been done to make rides safer for passengers - especially women". Jane Doe 2 alleges that an Uber driver "forced her to engage in intercourse against her will" after following her into her home. But it stopped short of requiring ride-sharing companies to submit drivers to fingerprint background checks conducted by the government.

The two women, who were not named in the lawsuit, are not only seeking damages for their alleged rapes; they want the company to take steps to prevent this from happening again. "Specifically, drivers have the means and opportunity to veer off route without detection, trap passengers inside their vehicles and commit physical and sexual violence without witnesses", the suit reads. Uber has attempted to publicly boost its reputation through a recent donation to sexual assault and domestic violence prevention programs.

"A litany of incidents regarding sexual assaults, and physical assaults, by Uber drivers on passengers, shows a pattern of similarly heinous, but avoidable attacks", the lawsuit states. The other was raped by an Uber driver in her apartment in Miami.

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