Lyft is facing legal action filed by 17 passengers and drivers who allege they were sexually or physically assaulted while using the rideshare platform.
Lawyers say the alleged incidents, occurring in a number of states, include 13 of sexual assaults and 4 of physical assaults.
“Lyft has created a national crisis,” Adam Wolf, a partner at Peiffer Wolf Carr Kane Conway & Wise (the company that filed the lawsuits and arbitration claims), said at a news conference Wednesday. “This is happening everywhere. It can and will happen wherever Lyft operates, because this system failure goes to the heart of how Lyft does business.”
The attorneys allege in one of the filings that the company fails to conduct adequate background checks, allows guilty drivers to continue driving for Lyft, and has “failed to adopt and implement reasonable driver screening procedures designed to ensure safety.” of its passengers.”
In an email response to the allegations, Lyft spokesperson Gabriela Condarco-Quesada said the company is “committed to helping keep drivers and riders safe.” She added: “While security incidents on our platform are incredibly rare, we realize that even one is too many. Our goal is to make every Lyft ride as safe as possible, and we will continue to take action and invest in technology, policies and partnerships to do this.”
Lyft argued in the statement that the attorneys made a number of false or misleading claims while discussing the cases at Wednesday’s press conference. The company pointed out a number of safety features, including its partnership with ADT, a driver-required course on community safety, annual driver screenings and the ability to share the ride’s ongoing location with a contact.
Tracey Cowan, a partner at Peiffer Wolf, said at the press conference that while Lyft “claims its drivers can refuse any ride they want,” the company “consistently refuses to give drivers the information they need to manage a dangerous ride.” avoid,” adding that Lyft should implement things like more extensive background checks and put dash cameras in every car.
The cases are the latest in a series of lawsuits filed in recent years against Lyft and competitor Uber as both companies work to combat security issues. Last month, lawyers for the California firm Slater Slater Schulman filed a complaint against Uber representing women who say they have been attacked by drivers they were connected to through the platform.
In a long-awaited safety report Published last year — Lyft’s first ever — the company disclosed that it had received more than 4,000 reports of sexual assault from users of the platform from January 1, 2017 to December 31, 2019. At the time, the company emphasized that more than 99% of trips are without incident.