550 Women Are Suing Uber Over Alleged Sexual Assaults

Women across the US allege being "kidnapped, sexually assaulted, sexually battered, raped, falsely imprisoned, stalked, harassed or otherwise attacked by Uber drivers."

Corinne Reichert Senior Editor
Corinne Reichert (she/her) grew up in Sydney, Australia and moved to California in 2019. She holds degrees in law and communications, and currently writes news, analysis and features for CNET across the topics of electric vehicles, broadband networks, mobile devices, big tech, artificial intelligence, home technology and entertainment. In her spare time, she watches soccer games and F1 races, and goes to Disneyland as often as possible.
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Corinne Reichert
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Uber is being sued by female passengers who allege they were attacked by drivers.

James Martin/CNET

Uber is being sued by 550 women who allege they were sexually assaulted, harassed or attacked by Uber drivers, according to law firm Slater Slater Schulman.

The complaints, filed Wednesday in San Francisco County Superior Court, allege that women across several states, including California, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts, were "kidnapped, sexually assaulted, sexually battered, raped, falsely imprisoned, stalked, harassed or otherwise attacked by Uber drivers."

So far, about 24 separate complaints have been filed. The remaining cases for the 550 women will be filed in batches. In addition, another 150 cases are being looked into by the law firm.

"Sexual assault is a horrific crime and we take every single report seriously," an Uber spokesperson said in an emailed statement to CNET. "While we can't comment on pending litigation, we will continue to keep safety at the heart of our work."

Uber's second US safety report was released last month. It included 141 rape reports in 2020. 

In 2015, Uber was sued for sexual assault, and in 2018 it faced additional allegations and reports of rape. Its first US safety report, released in late 2019, noted nearly 500 rape reports in two years.

"While the company has acknowledged this crisis of sexual assault in recent years, its actual response has been slow and inadequate, with horrific consequences," said Adam Slater, founding partner of Slater Slater Schulman. "There is so much more that Uber can be doing to protect riders: adding cameras to deter assaults, performing more robust background checks on drivers, creating a warning system when drivers don't stay on a path to a destination."

In 2019, Uber added a number of safety features, including the ability to directly text 911 responders. It also has RideCheck, which pings drivers and passengers if it detects an unusually long stop or crash.

Correction, July 15: An earlier version of this article misstated how many complaints have been filed against Uber. The law firm representing the plaintiffs clarified that about 24 have been filed so far, with the rest of the 550 cases to be filed in batches.