A new lawsuit filed by 20 women who said they were either raped or sexually assaulted by Lyft’s drivers claims that the company has fostered a “sexual-assault epidemic.” The women have accused the ride-hailing service of failing to “adopt and implement reasonable driving monitoring procedures” to ensure passenger safety. The suit, filed in San Francisco Superior Court, alleges that Lyft’s “corporate management, including Lyft officers, directors and/or managing agents, has failed to implement the most basic and rudimentary procedures for the proper investigation of sexual assaults that are reported in their vehicles.” Mike Bomberger of Estey & Bomberger law firm, which is representing the women, told Mercury News that the company has not taken sufficient steps to fix the problem, adding that the company’s executives are “tone deaf.”
The women are suing the company for an undetermined amount in damages, citing medical costs and emotional distress. In a recent effort to double down on safety procedures, Lyft in September rolled out a new feature for riders, enabling them to immediately contact 911 emergency services from the Lyft app. That same month, Lyft was sued by 14 other women who claimed they were sexually assaulted or raped by the company’s drivers. In response to Wednesday’s lawsuit, the ride-hailing company’s spokesperson said, “What these women describe is something no one should ever have to endure,” adding that they “recognize” the “disproportionate risks” that women face.