Thursday, September 3, 2015

Rape Claim Against Uber Driver Dropped

A lawsuit against the ride sharing service, Uber, alleging their responsibility for a rape by a driver in India has been dropped by the plaintiff.  (See story here).  I reported about this story several months ago here in my blog (See "Uber Tries to Dismiss Federal Lawsuit for Sexual Assault").

As I stated in my prior post, from a procedural standpoint, attempting to sue an entity operating overseas in a U.S. Federal Court is often very difficult. Although not directly stated by the above-cited article, it would appear that the parties reached a settlement and this was the basis for the dismissal.  Initially, Uber claimed that they were not liable but, that their overseas company (Uber N.V. based in the Netherlands) was the proper defendant.

India has had a violent and tragic recent history of sexual assaults being committed against women. This particular incident and the related lawsuit sparked protests of the treatment of women and put a lot of pressure on Uber as India is their second largest market behind the U.S. for providing their ride sharing services.  In my opinion, these types of suits serve to add incentives for corporations to protect consumers of their services.  In addition to compensating victims of sexual assault, the civil justice system can serve as a medium for improving the lives of women and reducing the number of sexual abuse and assaults that occur both in the U.S. and worldwide.