More than 100 Uber drivers have been accused of sexual assault or abuse, CNN has found.
The cable news network – after digging into police reports, federal records and local court databases in 20 cities – said 103 Uber drivers have been charged, accused or named in civil suits over the past four years in the United States. At least 31 drivers have been convicted of crimes such as false imprisonment and rape, CNN said.
On Tuesday, NBC Today also aired Megyn Kelly’s interview with four women who said Uber drivers attacked them. “I felt so humiliated, and I felt I was in the wrong,” Addison Hoover said, describing a 13-minute ride that was diverted so that the driver could assault her.
“These stories are horrific and our hearts go out to the victims,” Uber said in a written statement Tuesday, which also outlined several new security measures. The company also said that, while even one incident is too many, it was important to put them in the context of a service that carried out 2.4 billion trips.
The reports come as Uber’s new chief executive, Dara Khosrowshahi, has been working to clean up Uber’s outlaw corporate image. That’s included making safety the company’s top priority and unveiling several initiatives designed to make riders feel safer. But Khosrowshahi also has his work cut out for him.
In March, a new group of women came forward to join a proposed class-action lawsuit that was filed by two anonymous women in November who allege that Uber created a system that was conducive to violence against women. Under the amended complaint filed March 15, an additional seven women filed suit against the company.
Fourteen women have also written the company’s 11-member board, asking Uber to waive a contractual requirement that requires customers to submit legal claims to private arbitration, Bloomberg reported Thursday. The requirement is in the fine print that spells out the terms for the app’s use.
The company, in legal papers filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, has also sought to compel the plaintiffs to heed the contract’s arbitration clause.
But Uber, in its statement issued Tuesday, said the company is considering the letter and whether to waive the arbitration requirement.
The company’s statement also outlined some of the initiatives it’s undertaken, including the addition of former Homeland Security secretary Jeh Johnson to its safety advisory board. Uber says it’s also undertaken a major campaign to raise awareness and educate drivers, riders and employees about sexual assault.
In a recent round of public appearances, Khosrowshahi also said Uber would monitor driver backgrounds more closely. It also is working to enhance the ability of a passenger to contact authorities in the event of an emergency and provide enough information to identify and locate the vehicle quickly.
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