(CN) — In two lawsuits against Uber on Tuesday, one woman says a driver sexually assaulted her and another that a driver imprisoned her in his car while making sexual and racist comments.
The women are both represented in Los Angeles Superior Court by Lisa Bloom of Woodland Hills. Jane Doe (1) claims a driver named Fernando sexually assaulted her on June 15 after picking her up in Hollywood by “plac(ing) his hand beneath her bra and fondl(ing) her breasts.”
Doe says she pushed him away but he continued the assault while driving on the Santa Monica Freeway. She reported the assault to Uber, she says, “whose only response was ‘do whatever you want about the incident.’” She reported to assault to law enforcement.
Jane Doe (2) says a driver named Sam sexually harassed and frightened her on May 29 during a ride near Los Angeles International Airport.
Among other things, she says, Sam, who is black, asked her “if she ever slept with a black man.” He told her he was “young, dumb and full of cum,” that she looked like a whore, asked her to “stay with” him because he hasn’t “seen what you have,” and told her, “You have white girl issues. You need a therapist.”
She says he purposely drove in the wrong direction to keep her falsely imprisoned in his car, and demanded that she text him her phone number, “NOW, before you get out!” She says she jumped from the slowly moving car and is still scared because he knows her address.
She also claims that Uber hires him and other drivers as independent contractors, rather than employees, to duck liability for their misbehavior.
Also Tuesday, in Oakland, California, shareholders filed a federal class action against Uber and its former CEO Travis Kalanick, who was forced out in June amid allegations of rampant sexist behavior by him and other Uber employees, which he did little to stop.
In this lawsuit, the Irving firemen’s Relief & Retirement Fund claims Kalanick failed to disclose the company’s flouting of laws, sexist corporate culture and anticompetitive behavior while issuing misleading statements about Uber’s rapid growth and revenue to obtain billions of dollars in investments in the privately traded company.
The retirement fund is represented by Darren Robbins, with Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd.
According to the Courthouse News database, 524 lawsuits have been filed against Uber this year, 21 of them class actions. At least 11 of them allege sexual misbehavior or discrimination. Kalanick has been sued 14 times this year, three of them class actions.
Uber lost its license to operate in London last week, effective Sept. 30, for generalized wrongdoing, for which its new CEO has apologized.