The lawsuit, filed in the Northern District of California on Tuesday, is on behalf of women passengers who experienced "rape, sexual assault, physical violence or gender-motivated harassment" by Uber drivers. "These allegations are important to us and we take them very seriously", the ride-hailing firm said in a statement. In particular, the complaint argues that the ride-share company foregoes a traditional driver-vetting process to save money, leading to an ongoing harassment and assault problem that puts women in harm's way.
It alleges that over the past seven years Uber has "failed to monitor drivers for any violent or inappropriate conduct after they are hired".
"Uber's advertising campaigns make the assertion that it provides the best option for a safe ride home after a night of drinking", the suit declared. Jane Doe 2 alleges that an Uber driver "forced her to engage in intercourse against her will" after following her into her home.
The lawsuit, which describes the details of the assaults faced by the two plaintiffs, seeks damages for plaintiffs and to force Uber to take steps to prevent assault by 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. The complaint goes on to allege that Uber has willingly created a culture for bad actors to have access to innocent victims.
The driver, Nimer Abdallah, carried the woman - who was barely conscious after having two drinks - upstairs to her apartment and allegedly raped her, the lawsuit states.
Uber announced earlier this month - prior to the lawsuit being filed - that it was implementing a new initiative to prevent sexual assault and domestic violence.
Uber on the other hand is not required to meet that standard since it is not required to be licensed as a private transportation carrier, claims the complaint.
Uber is facing a class-action lawsuit over sexual assaults by drivers. But it stopped short of requiring ride-sharing companies to submit drivers to fingerprint background checks conducted by the government.