A woman who claims she was raped by an Uber driver in New Delhi last month has filed suit against the US-based car-sharing company. In a civil complaint filed yesterday in California, the unnamed woman, who's referred to as "Jane Doe," said the company put its bottom line ahead of ensuring rider safety -- especially its female passengers.
The suit claims the company lacks systems to properly track Uber rides in progress and doesn't adequately screen potential drivers. Those shortcomings, the complaint states, end up "risking the safety of its unbeknownst customers." This all stems from an Uber ride back on December 5th of last year. As detailed in court documents, the woman used Uber's app to request a ride home after dinner with a friend -- however a driver identified as Shuv Kamir Yadav instead drove her to a secluded area and sexually assaulted her.
In all, the suit claims Uber was negligent in its hiring, supervision and retention of employees. It also alleges the company was fraudulent when it claimed to have thoroughly screened its drivers and when it claimed to be able to track routes. In addition, the complaint cites battery, assault and false imprisonment, as well as intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress.
Not long after the rape was initially reported, Uber was banned from operating in India's capital. CEO Travis Kalanick released a statement at the time, saying the company would do everything it could to help "bring this perpetrator to justice and to support the victim and her family in her recovery." However, the suit alleges the company failed to involve the victim, as she had requested, in efforts to upgrade its policies. In the days and weeks that followed, the company vowed to improve passenger safety – citing beefed-up background checks and options for passengers to share their locations with friends. This month, it slowly started operating within New Delhi again after applying for a taxi service license.
We reached out to Uber today, however the company said it did not have a comment on the suit.
Update: We updated this story with Uber's response to our request for comment.
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