More Than a Dozen Women File Sexual Assault Lawsuit Against Lyft

The company is being accused of ignoring multiple cases of rape and sexual misconduct

Lyft sexual assault
Lyft is being accused of doing nothing to address its sexual assault problem
Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images
By Kayla Kibbe / September 5, 2019 3:31 pm

As safety concerns surrounding ride-sharing apps continue to mount, Lyft is now facing a lawsuit claiming the company has failed to address an ongoing “sexual predator crisis.” The lawsuit was filed by fourteen women on Wednesday, CNN reported.

The group of women, each listed anonymously, all claim they were assaulted while using the app between January 2018 and June 2019. The suit alleges that Lyft failed to adequately address these incidents, adding that the app is negligent in background checks and fails to inform victims of the status of accused drivers or to provide adequate in-app safety measures. Moreover, the suit accuses Lyft of curtailing law enforcement investigation into reported assaults and actively choosing to “hide and conceal” a sexual misconduct crisis the company has allegedly been aware of since at least 2015.

The 40-page lawsuit was filed in San Francisco Superior Court and details assaults that span the country from California to North Carolina. The assaults include various instances in which women who had been drinking sought a safe ride home from Lyft, only to face sexual violence at the hands of their drivers — a pattern CNN previously identified as a recurring problem. One such driver reportedly used his victim’s phone to give himself a $25 tip after assaulting her, while another forced a blind rider into her own home where he raped her after dropping her off.

Many of the accusers say Lyft was largely unresponsive to their initial complaints and reports of these incidents, and failed to inform them if the accused drivers were still on the road.

“As a platform committed to providing safe transportation, we hold ourselves to a higher standard by designing products and policies to keep out bad actors, make riders and drivers feel safe, and react quickly if and when an incident does occur,” said Mary Winfield, Lyft’s head of trust and safety, in a statement. “Our commitment is stronger than ever, as we dedicate more resources in our continued effort to ensure our riders and drivers have the safest possible experience,” Winfield said.

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