Written By: Robert King, Esq.
Legal Review By: Sandy Fazili, Esq.
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People are filing Uber sexual assault lawsuits, claiming that the company neglected safety measures and background checks, leading to numerous incidents of driver sexual assault and misconduct against passengers. On October 4, 2023, the JPML consolidated all sexual assault lawsuits against Uber into MDL 3084, and new cases continue to be filed today.

Uber Sexual Assault Lawsuit Overview

According to Safety Reports issued by Uber, there have been nearly 10,000 accusations of sexual assault reported to the company over the course of four years. The company, which over the last decade has largely replaced traditional taxicabs, provides over 1 billion trips per year in the United States. Over half of the reports were filed by passengers who allege that their driver sexually assaulted or harassed them. 

Litigation pending against Uber alleges the company failed to implement adequate safety measures including conducting proper background checks on drivers. A significant number of the lawsuits that have been filed against the company have been consolidated in a Multidistrict Litigation (In re: Uber Technologies Inc., Passenger Sexual Assault Litigation – MDL No. 3084). Currently, over 200 plaintiffs have joined the MDL with the litigation expected to grow substantially over the coming months. 

Survivors are strongly encouraged to consult with an Uber sexual assault lawyer as soon as possible. At King Law, our attorneys are well-versed in handling rideshare sexual assault cases. We will pursue justice and compensation on your behalf. It is important to note that Uber does not offer remediation for sexual assault victims directly. Contact our office today to obtain a free, no-obligation consultation. 

Uber Sexual Assault Lawsuit Update – July 2024

July 14, 2024: Uber Rideshare Assault Lawsuit Progresses with Discovery Deadlines

The plaintiffs and defendants in the Uber rideshare assault lawsuit have been meeting regularly, and the plaintiffs are expected to provide Uber with a list of custodians in possession of discovery by July 15th. In a lawsuit, the parties are required to provide certain information to each other to assist in strategy and preparation for trial so that one side does not have an advantage over the other. This typically comes in the form of documents, emails, witness statements, social media posts, etc. The Court hopes Uber and the plaintiffs will come to an agreement about the custodians in this case by August 16, 2024, so it can remain on schedule. The Court also recently ordered that the plaintiffs must produce ride receipts for the Uber ride in question. If the plaintiff doesn’t have a ride receipt, they must provide enough information for Uber to find the ride information.

July 7, 2024: Uber Seeks to Limit Plaintiff Participation in MDL as Bellwether Trials Approach

As active cases continue to grow in this MDL, bellwether trials most likely won’t start until mid-2025. Uber is doing all it can to prevent plaintiffs from participating in the Judicial Council Coordinated Proceedings by filing a motion to not allow anyone who agreed to a “non-consolidation clause” while using the app from joining.

June 17, 2024: Uber Sexual Assault Lawsuit Centralized in Northern District of California

The basis of the Uber sexual assault lawsuit is clearly laid out in the transfer order from the Judicial Panel for Multidistrict Litigation dated October 4, 2023. The central issue that the case will always return to is whether Uber failed to implement the legally required safety precautions and if those failures led to sexual harassment or sexual assault. The MDL, known as In Re: Uber Technologies, Inc., Passenger Sexual Assault Litigation, MDL 3084, is centralized in the Northern District of California, the location of Uber’s headquarters.

June 2024: The total number of cases in the Uber MDL has reached 297 cases, as more survivors come forward and take action against the rideshare behemoth.

May 2024: Another 12 cases have been added to the Uber MDL, bringing the total number of pending lawsuits consolidated in the MDL to 252.

April 2024: There are currently 230 cases in the Uber MDL. The process is expected to take approximately two years to complete. 

October 2023: A panel of judges has ruled that around 80 lawsuits filed against Uber alleging the company failed to protect passengers from sexual assault may be joined together in a multidistrict litigation out of the Northern District of California. A prior consolidated lawsuit was restricted to California victims.

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What Is the Uber Sexual Assault Lawsuit About?

In October 2023, dozens of lawsuits pending against Uber Technologies, Ind. were consolidated into a multidistrict litigation in the Northern District of California. Judge Charles R. Breyer is presiding over the litigation which is aimed to determine whether Uber failed to implement appropriate safety measures to protect its passengers. 

Multidistrict litigation centralizes similar cases to help streamline the process and ensure consistent rulings in the cases. In an MDL, cases are consolidated for pretrial proceedings with possible Bellwether trials to guide potential settlements. While commonly referred to as a class action lawsuit, MDLs differ in procedure and are used to manage similar cases and enhance court efficiency.

The lawsuits have been filed by former Uber passengers who were either sexually assaulted or sexually harassed by their Uber drivers. Attorneys representing the plaintiffs continue to investigate whether Uber took adequate safety measures after being informed about the prevalence of sexual assault incidents involving its drivers. Issues that are being looked at in the proceedings include whether Uber’s background checks for drivers were adequate, whether its training protocols were sufficient, and whether Uber responded to complaints about driver conduct.

Uber has opposed the consolidation, arguing differences in state laws and its Terms of Use, however, the court recognized the efficiency of centralization and emphasized the need for a speedy resolution for victims.

Uber Drivers Sexually Assaulting Passengers

As of June 2024, Uber Technologies, Inc. has released two US Safety Reports. The company has not released a new safety report since June 2022, despite increased concerns over the safety of their rides. 

Allegations against Uber include:

  • Uber’s leadership misrepresented the safety of its platform despite being aware of thousands of sexual assault reports.
  • The company failed to implement adequate safety measures including proper driver screening and rigorous background checks.
  • The company knew or should have known of the risk to riders including a potential for kidnapping, sexual assault, rape, false imprisonment, stalking, and harassment by Uber drivers.
  • Uber allowed drivers with a history of abuse to continue working.
  • The company failed to require fingerprinting for driver registration.
  • Uber used a rapid background check process, facilitated by Hirease, Inc., that prioritized speed over thoroughness.
  • The company failed to implement proper training programs or interview drivers to ensure they knew what was considered proper conduct.
  • The company failed to implement strict policies to prevent fraternization or sexual advances toward passengers.
  • Uber prioritized rapid growth over passenger safety.
  • The company was negligent in adopting and enforcing policies that could have mitigated the risk of sexual assault to passengers.

According to the 2017-2018 report, there were 5,981 incidents of sexual assault reported to Uber. These reports included allegations of non-consensual kissing of a non-sexual body part, attempted non-consensual penetration, non-consensual touching of a sexual body part, non-consensual kissing of a sexual body part, and non-consensual sexual penetration. 

While the 2019-2020 report indicates that the number of sexual assault incidents across the five categories was 38% less at 3,824, it should be noted that the COVID-19 pandemic had nearly halted all operations for a substantial portion of the 2020 fiscal year. Despite nearly 10,000 complaints over the course of four years, it is alleged that Uber failed to implement adequate safety measures to protect its riders.

Most Common Injuries From Uber Sexual Assaults

Injuries in an Uber sexual assault case can range in severity, however, many times survivors experience lifelong emotional distress including Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, and mental anguish. Any unwanted or non-consensual sexual advances, touching, or harassment, should be immediately reported to the police, Uber, and an experienced attorney. An attorney can help ensure all potentially liable parties are held accountable for their wrongdoing. 

Common injuries from Uber sexual assault cases:

  • Head injuries, including concussions, skull fractures, and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs).
  • Facial injuries, such as lacerations, bruising, and broken bones
  • Damage to the genitals
  • Trouble breathing due to physical trauma
  • Superficial wounds like cuts, bites, broken teeth, and needle marks
  • Sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy, and reactions to being drugged
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Suicidal thoughts or ideations
  • Emotional distress and mental anguish

It is important to note that some injuries may not be immediately present. It can several days for physical injuries to present themselves after a sexual assault. Survivors are advised to complete a thorough medical examination to ensure all injuries are promptly diagnosed and treated. 

Sexual assault survivors may also exhibit a change in mood and behavior such as an increase in risk-taking behaviors, frequently used as a coping mechanism. This can lead to further mental and physical health concerns. It can take survivors years or even a lifetime to heal from the trauma, underscoring the importance of compensation to cover all treatment costs. Survivors are encouraged to seek both medical and legal assistance after an assault to ensure that all liable parties are held accountable.

This image lists injuries commonly associated with sexual assault that occurs in rideshares like Uber. The image also notes a couple statistics from Uber's reports.

Uber US Safety Report: Inside Uber Sexual Assault Statistics

The U.S. Safety Reports provided by Uber Technologies, Inc. provide insight into the alarming scope of the problem. However, it is important to note that many sexual assault incidents go unreported. Both reports (2017-2018 and 2019-2020) detail the number of traffic fatalities, fatal physical assaults, and sexual assaults reported to the company as well as the criteria used by the company in compiling the report.

The most recent report shows the following frequency of incident reports by the number of trips (2019):

  • Non-consensual kissing of a non-sexual body part: ~1 in 3,000,000
  • Attempted non-consensual sexual penetration: ~1 in 7,000,000
  • Non-consensual touching of a sexual body part: ~1 in 1,000,000
  • Non-consensual kissing of a sexual body part: ~1 in 5,000,000
  • Non-consensual sexual penetration: ~1 in 5,000,000

While there is a 38% decrease in the rate of reported sexual assaults from 2017-2018 to 2019-2020, it is believed that the mandated shutdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic may have influenced this reduction. 

The criteria for an Uber-related sexual assault include that it must have occurred during an active Uber trip, although not necessarily with parties paired by the Uber app or between parties paired by the Uber app within 48 hours after the trip’s completion. Riders were the accused in less than half of the reported incidents, meaning that drivers accounted for over half of the accused parties. Riders were also the victim in 61% of the reported cases.

How Uber Has Addressed Sexual Assault by Its Drivers

In response to concerns over the safety of its platform, Uber Technologies, Inc. has released a number of measures aimed at reducing incidents of sexual and physical assault. According to the 2019-2020 report, Uber had implemented a “robust screening process and technology to help strengthen the safety” of its platform. 

Enhanced safety measures implemented by Uber:

  • Review of the driver’s motor vehicle record (MVR)
  • Continuous checking for new criminal records
  • Removal of drivers with criminal records
  • Implementation of the Safety Toolkit, a spot in the app where both drivers and riders can access safety features
  • Phone and address anonymization
  • Speed limit alerts and driving-hours tools
  • In-app emergency button to call or text 911
  • Share my trip/Follow my ride feature
  • RideCheck (detects long stops, unexpected routes, and possible vehicle crashes)
  • Verify my ride (allows riders to opt into receiving a 4-digit PIN before each trip)
  • On-Trip reporting (allows riders to discreetly report a non-emergency safety issue during their ride)
  • Rider verification
  • Audio recording

Educational initiatives, including partnering with RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) and law enforcement to enhance preventative measures and support for assault survivors.

Recoverable Damages in an Uber Sexual Assault Lawsuit

Individuals who were sexually assaulted by an Uber driver may be entitled to compensation by taking legal action. It is imperative to consult with an attorney as early in the process as possible to ensure you receive the best possible outcome in your case. An attorney can help you gather the evidence you need to substantiate your claim including working with an expert witness and securing all necessary medical records. Under most circumstances, survivors may be eligible to collect both economic (special) and non-economic (general) damages.

Individuals who have experienced sexual assault in an Uber or by an Uber driver are strongly encouraged to seek immediate medical attention in order to preserve evidence including clothing and other items related to the case. All medical records should be provided to your attorney to help prove your case. You may also need to detail how the assault has affected your daily life and long-term mental health.

Expert testimony may be needed to substantiate claims for non-economic damages such as emotional distress and mental anguish. In egregious cases, punitive damages may be awarded to punish the wrongdoer and deter similar conduct. Survivors may be able to pursue a legal case against the individual perpetrator as well as Uber for failing to ensure the safety of its passengers. While compensation cannot undo the trauma, it may help to provide financial stability after the assault and aid in holding all liable parties accountable for their wrongdoing.

Economic Damages:

  • Medical expenses: Costs for past and future medical treatments, including hospital bills, prescription medications, and rehabilitation.
  • Lost wages and loss of future earning capacity: Compensation for past wage losses and future reduction in income due to the assault.
  • Property Damage: Reimbursement for any property damage that occurred during the incident.

Non-Economic Damages:

  • Pain and Suffering: Compensation for physical and mental pain resulting from the assault.
  • Emotional Distress: Includes mental anguish, depression, PTSD, anxiety, loss of enjoyment of life, and other emotional impacts.
  • Disfigurement or Scarring: Compensation for any permanent physical changes caused by the assault.
  • Loss of Consortium: Compensation for the loss of guidance and support for family members.

Who Qualifies to File an Uber Sexual Assault Lawsuit?

Individuals who have been assaulted in an Uber may be able to take legal action. In order to determine if you qualify for an Uber sexual assault lawsuit, it is strongly recommended that you speak with an attorney as soon as possible.

Eligibility for filing an Uber sexual assault lawsuit:

  • Uber passengers who experienced sexual misconduct such as inappropriate conduct, non-consensual touching or penetration, kidnapping, threats, or sexual harassment.
  • Reportable incidents include any inappropriate sexual contact, forced sexual activities, non-consensual sexual penetration or rape, non-consensual touching or kissing, indecent exposure, abduction, or kidnapping with associated sexual abuse or threats.

Most legal claims against Uber allege that the company was negligent in failing to conduct thorough background checks on its drivers and not implementing adequate safety measures to protect passengers from predatory behaviors. 

Lawsuits are designed to seek justice and compensation for survivors of sexual assault. It is hoped that successful lawsuits will help to hold Uber accountable for its failure to implement proper safety protocols. Individuals may be eligible for a settlement, depending on the outcome of the case.

This image lists the eligibility criteria for a uber sexual assault lawsuit claim, and notes the statute of limitations and approximate settlement and payout.

Evidence Needed to File a Lawsuit Against Uber

  • Screenshots of the Uber ride details
  • Texts or emails between the driver and passenger
  • CCTV footage
  • GPS data from the Uber app
  • Photographs of injuries
  • Psychological evaluations
  • Forensic evidence
  • Internal documents from Uber acknowledging the number of sexual assaults
  • Expert testimony
  • Medical records
  • Work records

This infographic lists evidence that is important for your Uber Sexual Assault Lawsuit claim.

How to File an Uber Sexual Assault Lawsuit

To file an Uber sexual assault lawsuit, there are several steps that you must follow. 

  1. Consult a lawyer. It is essential to contact a law firm that is well-versed in sexual assault and rideshare cases. The firm will conduct an initial case evaluation that can help determine the best course of action moving forward.
  2. Determine eligibility. An attorney can help determine whether you meet the necessary criteria to file an Uber sexual assault lawsuit.
  3. Gather evidence. Prior to the case being filed, it is necessary to collect all relevant evidence including medical records, incident reports, communication with Uber or with the perpetrator, witness statements, screenshots of your trip, and any photographic or video evidence from the incident. You will need to be able to document your injuries by securing comprehensive medical reports detailing the impact of the assault and any treatment you are receiving including therapy or counseling.
  4. File the lawsuit. Once the evidence is secured, your attorney will draft and file the complaint with the appropriate court, ensuring it meets all legal standards and is submitted within the applicable statute of limitations.
  5. Engage in discovery. Shortly after the case is filed, it will enter the discovery phase where both sides exchange information and evidence related to the case. During the discovery phase, you may be required to give a deposition, answer written questions, or provide additional documentation requested by the opposition.
  6. Negotiate a settlement. Throughout the case, your attorney may attempt to negotiate a fair and favorable settlement with the opposing party. A settlement agreement may be reached at any time prior to a verdict.
  7. Prepare for trial (if necessary). If a fair and full settlement cannot be negotiated, the matter may have to be set for trial. Prior to trial, your attorney will develop a legal strategy to present to a judge or jury. Your attorney will help prepare for testimony and may engage an expert witness to support your case.
  8. Go to trial. If a trial is imminent, you will need to attend with your attorney. During the trial, both sides will be able to present their case and cross-examine witnesses. If a favorable verdict is rendered, your attorney will help ensure you receive a payout as soon as possible. If a verdict is rendered for the defendant, your attorney can provide advice and guidance on your appeal options. 

Working with an attorney throughout the process can help ensure that you can focus on your mental health and well-being while they handle the legal process. An attorney will represent you throughout the case, including assisting with evidence collection, case preparation, and trial representation. Experienced lawyers will keep you informed through regular communication about your case and are dedicated to securing the maximum compensation possible through negotiation or litigation.

Statute of Limitations for Sexual Assault Lawsuits Against Uber

The statute of limitations in an Uber sexual assault case is state-specific and may range from two to ten years. 22 states have what is known as a “lookback” law which provides a limited amount of time for survivors to sue for past incidents. These laws generally provide between one to three years from the enactment for a victim to file a lawsuit, despite the expiration of the normal statute of limitations.

Survivors are still able to file a lawsuit against Uber even if the assault occurred in a state outside of where they reside, but they must act quickly. Because the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit varies substantially depending on the state where you file the complaint and the individual circumstances of the case, it is advised to consult an attorney as soon as possible. Plaintiffs are unable to seek compensation for injuries once the statute of limitations expires unless an exception applies.

Uber Sexual Assault Settlement and Payout Amounts

Settlement and payout amounts in Uber sexual assault cases are expected to vary substantially depending on the individual circumstances of the case. It is expected that higher-tier cases such as those involving forcible rape may receive settlements from $100,000 to $400,000.  In most instances, settlements will cover legal and court costs to help alleviate the financial burden on the victim. 

Factors that may influence settlement amounts include the strength of the evidence, the severity and nature of the assault, the impact on the victim, and any long-term effects caused by the crime. 

Uber sexual assault settlement amounts may also be impacted by the availability of evidence related to a victim’s medical and therapeutic costs, lost wages, loss of future earning capacity, diminished quality of life and emotional well-being, statutes of limitations, applicable insurance policy limits, and whether they have secured legal representation. 

In some cases, punitive damages may be awarded. Punitive damages are generally reserved for claims involving gross negligence or malicious intent.

Contact an Uber Sexual Assault Lawyer

Individuals who suffered a sexual assault in an Uber are encouraged to contact King Law to schedule a free, no-obligation case consultation. The attorneys at King Law are well-versed in handling rideshare lawsuits and will work tirelessly to ensure you receive the best possible outcome in your case. We have decades of experience holding liable parties accountable for their wrongdoing. Contact our office today to schedule a free Uber sexual assault lawsuit evaluation. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Does Uber have a sexual assault problem?
There have been thousands of reports of sexual assault against Uber drivers nationwide. Current litigation alleges that the company did not implement the necessary safety measures to protect passengers from the known risk.
Is there a case against Uber for sexual assault?
Hundreds of cases have been filed against Uber for sexual assault. Multidistrict litigation pending out of the Northern District of California has consolidated nearly 300 of these cases.
Is there a class action against Uber?
Hundreds of cases have been consolidated into a Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) out of the Northern District of California. An MDL differs from a class action lawsuit in that a class action has a representative of a class of individuals with similar harm. An MDL is a process that helps to consolidate pre-trial proceedings and help the court move more efficiently when there are a large number of cases against one or a few defendants with similar allegations.
What is an Uber sexual assault?
An Uber sexual assault refers to when a driver engages in non-consensual touching, advances, sexual behavior, or penetration of a passenger during a trip or within 48 hours after a trip.
How many people have been sexually assaulted in an Uber?
Nearly 10,000 incidents of sexual assault were reported to Uber between 2017-2020. The current number of sexual assaults is unknown since the company has not released a new safety report since June 2022.
How many sexual assaults have there been by Uber drivers?
Over half of the nearly 10,000 incidents of sexual assaults reported alleged that the perpetrator was the Uber driver.
How many Uber sexual assault cases are there?
Hundreds of Uber sexual assault cases are currently pending in courts throughout the United States. Nearly 300 have been consolidated into an MDL in the Northern District of California.
How many Uber sexual assaults were in the statistics?
According to the two safety reports filed by Uber, there were 9,805 sexual assault incidents reported to the company between 2017 and 2020.
How has Uber tried to solve the sexual assaults?
Uber has implemented a number of safety measures to try to curb sexual assaults including enhanced screening of drivers, continuous criminal record checks, more detailed background checks, in-app safety options, and increased awareness.
What did Uber do after the sexual assault lawsuit?
Uber fought against the consolidation of cases into an MDL arguing that state laws varied widely on the issue.
What are the allegations against Uber in the sexual assault lawsuits?
The allegations against Uber in the sexual assault lawsuits include that the company was negligent in failing to implement adequate safety measures to protect its passengers and misled the public about the safety of its platform.
How can I file a sexual assault lawsuit against Uber?
You can file a sexual assault lawsuit by contacting an attorney as soon as possible.
What are the eligibility criteria for filing a lawsuit against Uber for sexual assault?
Eligibility criteria for filing a lawsuit against Uber for sexual assault include that you were a passenger and have a provable injury whether physical or psychological as a result of the driver.
What are the statutes of limitations for an Uber sexual assault lawsuit?
The statutes of limitations for an Uber sexual assault lawsuit are state-specific. In general, individuals have between two and ten years to file a claim.
What evidence do I need to file a sexual assault lawsuit against Uber?
Evidence that may be needed to file a sexual assault lawsuit against Uber includes medical records, screenshots of your trip, proof of diagnosis, proof of treatment, and expert medical testimony.
What is the average settlement amount for an Uber sexual assault lawsuit?
The average settlement amount for an Uber sexual assault lawsuit is expected to range between $100,000 and $400,000.
What damages are recoverable in an Uber sexual assault lawsuit?
Damages that may be recoverable in an Uber sexual assault lawsuit include compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, loss of future earning capacity, pain and suffering, and more.