Uber Settles Lawsuit Over Sexual Assaults

     SAN FRANCISCO (CN) — Uber on Thursday quietly settled a lawsuit brought by two women who claim they were sexually assaulted by Uber drivers.
     The two Jane Does filed their federal complaint in October last year, claiming the ride-hail company prioritized profits over safety and failed to adequately screen drivers.
     One of the women said a driver in South Carolina drove her in the wrong direction away from her home, asked her to perform oral sex as “payment” for her ride and then “viciously raped” her in August 2015.
     The other plaintiff claimed a 38-year-old Uber driver in Boston dropped off her friends, drove her 15 minutes off-route from her destination and then forcibly kissed and groped her in February 2015.
     An Uber attorney argued in court earlier this year that the ride-hail company should not be held liable for those claims because the alleged sexual assaults “had nothing to do” with the jobs being performed by drivers.
     U.S. District Judge Susan Illston rejected that argument in May when she denied Uber’s motions to dismiss the complaint.
     Both parties started settlement talks in August and reached a final agreement on Wednesday in a closed settlement conference in U.S. Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler’s courtroom, according to court docket entries.
     On Thursday, Illston dismissed the case with prejudice in a one-page order.
     Attorneys for the two Jane Does, Elizabeth Chen and Jeanne Christensen of Wigdor in New York City, did not respond to phone calls seeking comment Thursday afternoon.
     An email seeking comment from Uber also went unanswered on Thursday.

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