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Uber Lawsuit Shows How Crime Victims Can Obtain Damages for Their Injuries

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We’ve written in the past about how criminal acts can not only lead to criminal punishment, but crime victims may have avenues to sue in civil court for the injuries they sustain. Ride sharing giant Uber’s recent legal problems are a good example of just this situation.

Uber Sued Over Failure to Warn

Uber is being sued after three women allege that they were raped by people posing as Uber drivers. The lawsuit alleges that it was known that there were fake drivers in the neighborhood who were targeting young women.

Despite this knowledge, the suit alleges that Uber did nothing, including failing to put out any type of public announcement alerting potential Uber users to the threat. Part of the reason is alleged to be because of Uber’s concern about damaging its reputation, and to keep from deterring potential riders.

The lawsuit also alleges that Uber makes it too easy for fake drivers to target prey, including providing the ability to download the Uber emblem online which can then be attached to anybody’s vehicle.

Safety Measures Are Insufficient

Uber targets inebriated customers, in a commendable effort to keep drunk people from getting behind the wheel of their own cars. However, many of Uber’s safety recommendations, such as checking their app when a driver arrives, or verifying ride details with the driver, may be difficult to do by passengers who have consumed a lot of alcohol. 

In Uber’s case the drivers were never actually hired–they were fakes–but there are other lawsuits that allege that hired drivers assaulted riders. The Uber lawsuit also demonstrates that even when a company took no active or passive role in causing a criminal act, the company may still have an obligation to do what it can to avoid criminal acts that cause injury from occurring. 

Negligent Hiring and Supervision Claims

On the surface, fake Uber drivers assaulting customers may sound like just a criminal matter, leaving no avenue for victims to recover in civil court for injuries. But in many cases companies or supervisors can make hiring decisions (or fail to make the correct ones) that lead to injury.

This is often seen in lawsuits involving abuse of children or the elderly by people charged with supervising or protecting them. While the abuse is surely criminal, the people hiring these individuals also have a duty to inspect the employees’ background and to refrain from hiring people that could foreseeably cause injury to children.

In these cases, companies can be liable not only for negligence, but for negligent hiring, failure to warn, negligent supervision, or negligent entrustment. The policies and procedures of these companies will usually be the subject of the lawsuit, as will investigating how the individuals that caused the harm were hired.

Contact the Miami personal injury attorneys at Jacobs Legal today for help if you are a victim of a criminal act to see if there is a way for you to recover damages for your injuries.

Resources:

money.cnn.com/2018/04/30/technology/uber-driver-sexual-assault/index.html

vox.com/2019/4/9/18302212/uber-lawsuit-protect-riders-sexual-predators

https://www.jakelegal.com/what-to-expect-in-your-personal-injury-deposition/

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