Friday, May 20, 2016

Uber Liable for Assaults by Drivers?


A federal district court judge in San Francisco has rejected a motion to dismiss two lawsuits that were based on different assaults to passengers by Uber drivers.  In its decision, the district court acknowledged the possibility that the drivers were employees, rather than independent contractors, thus potentially keeping the company on the hook for the assaults.   A wage/hour suit was recently settled by the company with its workers on the independent contractor/employee issue for $100 million.  Pursuant to these pending suits, involving incidents in Boston and South Carolina, CBS News reports

"The Boston driver, Abderrahim Dakiri, was convicted earlier this year of assault and battery. He was sentenced to two years' probation and ordered to stay away from the victim, the campuses of her school and her workplace.  The South Carolina driver was arrested last year on suspicion of kidnapping and first-degree criminal sexual conduct."

Now that these suits have been permitted to proceed, it will be an interesting case (that we will follow) to see how the litigation is ultimately resolved.

- Joe Seiner

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