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Three women who say they were sexually assaulted by individuals who pretended to be their Uber drivers are suing the rideshare company

20 Apr 2019

 

Three women who say they were sexually assaulted by individuals who pretended to be their Uber drivers are suing the ride-sharing firm according to a complaint recently filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, the Business Insider first reported. 


The women, each identified as Jane Doe(#1, 2 and 3) have accused the company of negligence, claiming that Uber failed to warn them about men impersonating drivers for the app based giants - fake Uber drivers who were targeting women in the area. 

It is said that despite being allegedly warned by law enforcement Uber failed to take any precautionary measures to warn vulnerable users of their service. 

 

Jane Doe No. 2 stated that after spending the evening having a few drinks with her friends, who she became separated from, she used her phone to order an Uber to collect her. She then entered a vehicle she believed to be her rideshare. She noticed that the license plate didn't match the number on her app, but the driver explained that he had recently crashed his car and hadn't yet updated the new plate.

Believing the driver, she continued with the ride. But the driver was not who she thought it was. Instead she was now in the passenger seat of a vehicle being driven by Nicolas Morales, an alleged serial rapist, who posed as an Uber driver to trick her into his car. 

 

It has been reported that as she travelled in Morales' vehicle, she received a call from her actual Uber driver, who was said to be irritated by the fact she entered the wrong car. 

 

The real uber driver then drove Jane Doe 2's route which was logged in his drivers app database without her, and she was charged for the ride. 

 

Morales was arrested in February after being charged with raping and sexually assaulting seven women while impersonating an Uber driver. 

 

Since her encounter with Morales', Jane Doe No.2 says she's suffered "severe psychological and physical damages, mental pain and anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life," according to a recently filed lawsuit against Uber. 

 

Two other women who are identified as "Jane Doe 1" and "Jane Doe 3" also claim to suffer as Jane Doe No.2 does. 

 

The other two claimants in the lawsuit, Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 3 were both tricked by serial rapist Walter Velasquez, who was sentenced to more than eight years in prison in October for sexually assaulting two women while pretending to drive for Uber.

After reporting the incident to police and Uber, Jane Doe 3's account was deleted by the company, the complaint said, adding that "the Uber Defendants did not immediately cooperate with law enforcement in the investigation, taking more than seven weeks to respond to search warrants in JANE DOE No. 3's investigation."

The lawsuit claims Uber was aware of "fake Uber" schemes
 

The lawsuit, which was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court earlier this month, alleges that as early as 2016, Uber were aware of people impersonating Uber drivers to lure passengers into their vehicles to sexually assault them.

 

The document allegedly claims that these sexual predators specifically sought out young, inebriated females who attended some of Los Angeles most popular night clubs and restaurants. 

 

All three women in the lawsuit say that since their sexual assaults, they have experienced loss of sleep, anxiety, depression, and other symptoms that correspond with rape trauma syndrome and post-traumatic stress disorder.

"Uber Defendants have placed profits over safety by deliberately failing to implement any warning system regarding this sexual assault scheme so as to rapidly expand its profits and not deter any potential users," the complaint said. "This is a calculated decision by senior executives to allow Uber Defendants to attempt to dominate the rideshare market at the expense of public safety."

The lawsuit claims that a total of nine alleged assaults by fake Uber drivers had already taken place in the Los Angeles area. 

 

Those assaults by "fake Uber drivers" were reported in September 2016, October 2016, January 2017, May 2017, June 2017, September 2017, December 2017, and February 2018. 

 

The document claims that Uber never issued warnings to the general public in the aftermath of those assaults even though they had been notified by law enforcement. 
 

The document adds that Uber currently makes it easy for anyone to disguise themselves as Uber drivers — for instance, there is a "print at home" feature on the company's website that the complaint argues anyone could use to print a logo and attach to their vehicles. 

 

Image: Source; Taxipoint 

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