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Is Lyft (or Uber) at all liable for a passenger sexually assaulting the driver?

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Vinny007

Member
Arizona

Hypothetically Speaking, of course;

I drive with Lyft and here is what happened to me:

When I first received the request it had no name available, when I arrived there was still no name or picture available. I figured it was an error or glitch in the app and proceeded with the ride as usual. During the ride the passenger continually tried to direct the conversation into a sexual one. (25 minutes in total length)

I continued to deal with trying to keep the conversation civil and kept changing the topic to G-rated categories.

Towards the latter half of the ride the passenger kept insisting on performing sexual acts on me. I politely declined but noticed the passenger was persistent.

As we were arriving at the destination the passenger grabbed my crotch. I grabbed the passengers hand and said to not do that. The passenger ignored my request and grabbed my crotch once again. I -once again- had to forcefully grab the passengers hand and remove it from on me. I then told the passenger to exit the vehicle as I unbuckled my seatbelt and opened my door in fear of matters escalating further.

The passenger then exited and ran off into a field/parking lot. I quickly drove away from the area due to a fear of the passenger coming back and threatening me further.

Drivers depend on Lyft to provide a dependable service. Which includes that a passengers most basic information- a first name- can be accessed. Lyft was unable to provide me with this extremely minimal amount of information and because of this situation I am not sure what I am supposed to do.

I could file a police report, but I literally have no information on this passenger, nor can I go to the "rating screen" to see if the passengers name or picture is listed there. The option to look at that has been blocked, something I have never seen happen before.

This lack of any usable information I trusted Lyft to be capable of providing me with has me feeling that filing a report for this sexual assault with 0 information would leave me more embarrassed and ashamed than I already am.

Although I cannot believe that this has just occurred. I am SHOCKED that Lyft allowed this passenger to use the platform anonymously. I am even more shocked that Lyft is not allowing me to click on the "rate passengers" button where I can see if the passengers name/picture is listed there. I am also unable to rate the passenger to warn other drivers about this DANGEROUS passenger and leave a comment for Lyft to review regarding the passenger directly.

It almost feels as though this passenger is being protected by Lyft.

Since it was dark I do not have a perfect description of what the passenger looks like. However this is what I am able to provide you with:

  • The passenger was a man, around 40 – 50 years old dressed in women's clothing and appeared to be wearing a wig.
  • The passenger was around 5’3 – 5’6 in height
  • Weighed approx. 200 – 235 pounds
  • Voice of a heavy smoker
  • The passenger also stated that the man that was at the pick up location (but did not enter the car) was someone the passenger met on Facebook messenger and they were together for the night to do drugs and have sex.

I have messaged Lyft through their "24/7 Critical Support Line" 3 times that night and finally received an email roughly 36 hours later with a generic response. I have messaged them again with most of the details listed here and was only given the same response of "We are constantly looking for ways to better protect our driver's and your feedback is imperative in making that happen. Please know that we will continue working towards new solutions to ensure that the passenger's entering your vehicle are safe."

Is there any legal action I can take?
At first I wasn't even really considering taking this further but after the appalling response I have received, I am angry that Lyft is protecting this passenger and providing 0 support for its driver in this case.

I understand that Lyft is not in control of passengers, but they are in control of being able to give me information I would need to file at least a police report, right? They must have a name from the credit card information?

Any comments/suggestions are greatly appreciated.
 


Just Blue

Senior Member
Arizona

Hypothetically Speaking, of course;

I drive with Lyft and here is what happened to me:

When I first received the request it had no name available, when I arrived there was still no name or picture available. I figured it was an error or glitch in the app and proceeded with the ride as usual. During the ride the passenger continually tried to direct the conversation into a sexual one. (25 minutes in total length)

I continued to deal with trying to keep the conversation civil and kept changing the topic to G-rated categories.

Towards the latter half of the ride the passenger kept insisting on performing sexual acts on me. I politely declined but noticed the passenger was persistent.

As we were arriving at the destination the passenger grabbed my crotch. I grabbed the passengers hand and said to not do that. The passenger ignored my request and grabbed my crotch once again. I -once again- had to forcefully grab the passengers hand and remove it from on me. I then told the passenger to exit the vehicle as I unbuckled my seatbelt and opened my door in fear of matters escalating further.

The passenger then exited and ran off into a field/parking lot. I quickly drove away from the area due to a fear of the passenger coming back and threatening me further.

Drivers depend on Lyft to provide a dependable service. Which includes that a passengers most basic information- a first name- can be accessed. Lyft was unable to provide me with this extremely minimal amount of information and because of this situation I am not sure what I am supposed to do.

I could file a police report, but I literally have no information on this passenger, nor can I go to the "rating screen" to see if the passengers name or picture is listed there. The option to look at that has been blocked, something I have never seen happen before.

This lack of any usable information I trusted Lyft to be capable of providing me with has me feeling that filing a report for this sexual assault with 0 information would leave me more embarrassed and ashamed than I already am.

Although I cannot believe that this has just occurred. I am SHOCKED that Lyft allowed this passenger to use the platform anonymously. I am even more shocked that Lyft is not allowing me to click on the "rate passengers" button where I can see if the passengers name/picture is listed there. I am also unable to rate the passenger to warn other drivers about this DANGEROUS passenger and leave a comment for Lyft to review regarding the passenger directly.

It almost feels as though this passenger is being protected by Lyft.

Since it was dark I do not have a perfect description of what the passenger looks like. However this is what I am able to provide you with:

  • The passenger was a man, around 40 – 50 years old dressed in women's clothing and appeared to be wearing a wig.
  • The passenger was around 5’3 – 5’6 in height
  • Weighed approx. 200 – 235 pounds
  • Voice of a heavy smoker
  • The passenger also stated that the man that was at the pick up location (but did not enter the car) was someone the passenger met on Facebook messenger and they were together for the night to do drugs and have sex.
I have messaged Lyft through their "24/7 Critical Support Line" 3 times that night and finally received an email roughly 36 hours later with a generic response. I have messaged them again with most of the details listed here and was only given the same response of "We are constantly looking for ways to better protect our driver's and your feedback is imperative in making that happen. Please know that we will continue working towards new solutions to ensure that the passenger's entering your vehicle are safe."

Is there any legal action I can take?
At first I wasn't even really considering taking this further but after the appalling response I have received, I am angry that Lyft is protecting this passenger and providing 0 support for its driver in this case.

I understand that Lyft is not in control of passengers, but they are in control of being able to give me information I would need to file at least a police report, right? They must have a name from the credit card information?

Any comments/suggestions are greatly appreciated.
You start out stating "Hypothetically Speaking, of course"....And then go on to tell of a sexual assault that happened to you. So which is it? A true situation that happened to you or a made up one and you are just curious what the legal obligation Lyft has?
 

Vinny007

Member
You start out stating "Hypothetically Speaking, of course"....And then go on to tell of a sexual assault that happened to you. So which is it? A true situation that happened to you or a made up one and you are just curious what the legal obligation Lyft has?
Let's go with hypothetical ;)

What would i report if Lyft is withholding the passengers information? Where would a report lacking any details about the passenger other than the vague description listed above even get me? seems like a waste of time to be honest
 

quincy

Senior Member
Let's go with hypothetical ;)
We do not answer hypothetical questions on this forum. Sorry.

It is hard for a driver to have their crotch grabbed by a backseat passenger, especially one on the passenger side of the backseat.

If you work for Uber or Lyft, and are concerned for your safety, address these concerns with them.
 

Just Blue

Senior Member
Let's go with hypothetical ;)

What would i report if Lyft is withholding the passengers information? Where would a report lacking any details about the passenger other than the vague description listed above even get me? seems like a waste of time to be honest
We don't do hypotheticals on this site.
 

quincy

Senior Member
It is not a waste of time to report a sexual assault to the police, by the way. Your description of the passenger could help prevent another assault.
 

Vinny007

Member
We don't do hypotheticals on this site.
We do not answer hypothetical questions on this forum. Sorry.

It is hard for a driver to have their crotch grabbed by a backseat passenger, especially one on the passenger side of the backseat.

If you work for Uber or Lyft, and are concerned for your safety, address these concerns with them.
Well, I'm not well versed in Liable/Defamation/slander law so I don't know if it would be safe for me to say this is something that actually occurred.

The distance from the front to the back seat is only an arms reach away, I can assure you that it is more than possible for a person to grab the driver from the rear seat
 

Just Blue

Senior Member
It is not a waste of time to report a sexual assault to the police, by the way. Your description of the passenger could help prevent another assault.
I'm sure the hypothetical police could have found the hypothetical masher .
 

Just Blue

Senior Member
Well, I'm not well versed in Liable/Defamation/slander law so I don't know if it would be safe for me to say this is something that actually occurred.

The distance from the front to the back seat is only an arms reach away, I can assure you that it is more than possible for a person to grab the driver from the rear seat
What kind of car?
 

Vinny007

Member
Would finding an attorney be helpful in obtaining passenger information (that is being oddly withheld by Lyft)?

Is Lyft at all liable for the assault in this case?

Kia Optima
 

xylene

Senior Member
It is hard for a driver to have their crotch grabbed by a backseat passenger, especially one on the passenger side of the backseat.
That's not that big of a reach. I can get something out of the trunk via ski pass-thru while driving. I'm no remarkably vertical specimen
 

quincy

Senior Member
Would finding an attorney be helpful in obtaining passenger information (that is being oddly withheld by Lyft)?

Is Lyft at all liable for the assault in this case?

Kia Optima
The police can get the passenger account information. You can provide the other details.

Good luck.
 

Vinny007

Member
I have read of many lawsuits against Lyft/Uber from passengers who were sexually assaulted by the driver, but have not seen any about the driver being assaulted by the passenger, I have a hard time believing this is the first case. Is it because the company is only liable for the drivers actions (even though they are independent contractors, not employees) but hold no liability for the passengers actions?
 

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