Lyft Sexual Assault Lawsuit
In recent years, many people have sued Lyft for poor vetting and hiring practices, negligence in ensuring rider safety, and failure to respond to incident reports.
Rideshare apps such as Lyft are a convenient way to travel. However, using Lyft carries an element of risk since it requires getting into a stranger’s car. As such, there’s always a chance of sexual assault by drivers and other riders.
Whereas perpetrators of sexual assault face criminal charges for sex offenses in the United States, Lyft and other liable third parties face civil claims for negligence in sexual assault cases.
In 2019, Lyft received more than a thousand reports of sexual assault.
Sexual Assault Lawsuit Claims Against Lyft
A Lyft sexual assault lawsuit is a legal action taken against:
- Lyft for failing to adequately protect you and other riders from Lyft sexual assaults
- A Lyft driver or rider for sexually assaulting or attempting to sexually assault you after or during a Lyft trip
People can sue Lyft for failing to protect its users from sexual assault. Specifically, people are suing Lyft for negligence and failure to respond to reports of sexual assault.
Poor Vetting and Hiring Practices
Like other rideshare apps, Lyft requires drivers to undergo initial and annual criminal background checks. It also requires drivers to undergo continuous criminal monitoring.
Unfortunately, that’s not enough since sexual assaults still happen. For one, Lyft’s criminal background check provider, Checkr, only looks at records from the last seven years. This means applicants with older criminal records can slip under Lyft’s radar. Also, sexual offenders who have yet to commit a crime or have never been caught can still work for Lyft.
Negligence in Ensuring Rider Safety
Lyft currently provides in-app emergency assistance, including a 24/7 safety team that riders can contact if they feel unsafe or have concerns.
However, Lyft only implemented these features after sexual assault victims came forward and took legal action. Sexual assault victims have also argued for additional safety features, such as video monitoring of rides in Lyft cars, and on the app.
Failure to Respond to Incident Reports
Sexual assault survivors have also spoken out against Lyft’s failure to respond to incident reports. According to Caroline Miller, who was raped by a Lyft driver after celebrating her birthday, Lyft’s response to her sexual assault report was to send her money.
Miller and 18 other women jointly filed a lawsuit against Lyft. Similarly, 14 plaintiffs in a 2022 lawsuit said that Lyft did nothing after they reported their assaults other than telling them that Lyft was sorry for their experience and that it would suspend the perpetrator’s account.
An attorney for the plaintiffs, Adam Wolf, told NPR, “The thing Lyft is most concerned about protecting is its own profit margins.”
Does Lyft Mandate Mediation and Arbitration?
Before 2018, Lyft required sexual assault victims to pursue claims through independent mediation and arbitration. Critics believed the practice helped Lyft brush sexual violence under the rug.
Fortunately, Lyft changed its tune in 2018 after more than a hundred Lyft drivers were arrested for sexual assault. As a result, Lyft sexual assault victims can now settle claims in any way they want, whether through mediation, arbitration, or in open court.
Lawsuits Filed Against Lyft Alleging Sexual Assault
Some recent high-profile lawsuits against Lyft allege that the company is directly liable for negligently hiring, retaining, and supervising perpetrators and for fraudulently representing itself as a safe transportation option.
Plaintiffs have also accused Lyft of “vicarious liability for the torts of its agents.”
Seventeen Lawsuits for Sexual Assault
In 2022, Lyft faced 17 new lawsuits from users around the United States for failing to protect drivers and passengers from sexual and physical assault. Of the 17 lawsuits, 14 were filed by victimes of sexual assault.
One of the plaintiffs described how her driver locked the car doors and sexually assaulted her in June 2021. He then told her to keep the assault a secret because he knew where she and her friends lived.
All of these passengers and drivers reported that Lyft did nothing to help them after they reported their assaults other than telling them that Lyft was sorry for their experience and would suspend the account of the passenger or driver who assaulted them.
Nineteen Women Sue Lyft for Failing To
Prevent Sexual Assault
In December 2019 in the Superior Court of San Francisco, 19 women filed lawsuits against Lyft. The women accused Lyft of:
- Failing to prevent sexual assaults
- Downplaying the seriousness of their assaults
- Failing to follow up on their complaints
According to The New York Times, many of the victims, all between the ages of 19 and 41, were drunk or unconscious during the alleged assaults, one has autism, and one is blind.
At Least 34 Women Sue Lyft for Failing To
Prevent Sexual Assault
In August 2019, Alison Turkos was kidnapped by her Lyft driver at gunpoint. He then drove her across state lines and gang-raped her with two other men. Turkos is one of more than 34 women suing Lyft for enabling a sexual assault “epidemic.”
How Much Money Will I Recover in a Sexual Assault Settlement from Lyft?
Sexual assault settlements from Lyft depend on your case. As a rule of thumb, the more psychological and physical harm you suffer in a personal injury case, the more compensation you will receive for economic and non-economic damages.
To illustrate, suppose your assault resulted in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and anxiety, for which you will need long-term mental health treatment to restore your intimate relationship and work performance.
Your legal team will argue that the assault has permanently changed your life, altered your physical and emotional health, and negatively affected your finances. The settlement or verdict should reflect these consequences, and you can expect to receive more than a claimant who suffered minimal emotional and physical harm and less financial hardship.
How Long Do I Have To File a Lyft Sexual Assault Lawsuit?
The statute of limitations for filing a sexual assault lawsuit depends on your state. For example, Virginia has eliminated timeframes for all felony sex crimes. Talk to your attorney about the statute of limitations in your state for your specific case.
The sooner you contact a sexual assault lawyer, the more likely you will be to file your claim and the necessary documents in time to pursue justice and hold your assailant accountable for the pain they caused you. You will also be protecting countless future sexual assault victims from Lyft’s callous and irresponsible business practices, so don’t wait to take action.
How to File a Lyft Sexual Assault Lawsuit
If a Lyft driver or rider has sexually assaulted you, consider filing a civil lawsuit against Lyft. The best way to do this is by hiring a personal injury lawyer with experience in sexual assault claims against ride-hailing services such as Lyft.
The right lawyer will aggressively pursue justice and demand fair compensation, handling everything on your behalf.
Your sexual assault lawyer will:
- Analyze and build a strong case against Lyft and other parties responsible for your assault
- Gather and preserve incriminating evidence (torn clothing, videos, photos, and audio recordings)
- Draft, edit, and file paperwork by the designated deadlines
- Prove that Lyft breached its legal duty to keep you safe
- Negotiate with Lyft’s lawyers and insurance companies
- Fight for your rights in court
Lyft generated $3.2 billion revenue in 2021 from riders who trusted the company to protect them and engage in responsible and ethical business practices. Any company that fails to uphold a reasonable standard of care for its customers should be held accountable for its negligence in a civil court.