Lyft Sued By Sexual Assault, Rape Survivors

Matt Bigler
September 04, 2019 - 2:00 pm
A group of women filed a lawsuit against Lyft on Sept. 4, 2019, saying the company bore responsibility for drivers who committed sexual assaults.

Matt Bigler/KCBS Radio

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SAN FRANCISCO — A group of 14 rape and sexual assault survivors filed a lawsuit against the ride hailing app Lyft, accusing the company on Wednesday of failing to keep passengers safe.

“People are hurting and safety needs to be a priority,” said Kim, one of the survivors in the lawsuit.

A Lyft driver tried to grab and kiss her after dropping her off at her home in Salt Lake City, she said. She was able to escape and reported the incident but says the company did little to assist in the investigation.

“I had no clue something like this could happen and that Lyft’s response could be so unsupportive," Kim told reporters. 

Related: Lyft Driver Arrested For Allegedly Raping Passenger From San Bruno

The lawsuit alleges that Lyft has accepted known sexual predators as drivers and concealed sexual assault complaints from law enforcement and the public.

The lawsuit, which was filed in San Francisco Superior Court, is asking Lyft to put protections in place. Those include recording devices in cars, better systems to monitor drivers and a requirement that report of assault be passed on to law enforcement.

Attorney Steve Estey, who is representing the group, said he wants to see Lyft make the kind of safety improvements that competitor Uber has already made. 

“Obviously we think there should be more changes to both of the apps, but Lyft has shown a total disdain to making any change," said Estey. "We know that Uber has made some basic changes to their app to try to increase the safety of their passengers. We haven’t seen Lyft do anything like that.”

KCBS Radio has reached out to Lyft for comment but has not received a response.

Reported by Matt Bigler. Written by Jessica Yi.