The negligence case against Lyft continues to grow as the rideshare company has been confronted with yet another disturbing sexual assault lawsuit. For more than a decade, there has been a troubling pattern of rideshare drivers engaging in non-consensual sexual contact with passengers, ranging from kissing and groping to rape.
In this recent Lyft sexual assault lawsuit, a Lyft passenger stated in their claim that she was raped by her driver, which resulted in a complicated pregnancy and birth. The plaintiff, Tabatha Means, believes the horrific treatment she endured at the hands of her rapist could have been avoided had Lyft implemented more rigorous background check standards. This is far from the first time that our Lyft sexual assault lawyers have heard this sentiment expressed by a survivor who was violated by their rideshare driver.
At Lawsuit Legal News, we believe that Lyft and other rideshare companies like Uber should be held liable for jeopardizing their passengers’ safety, which is why our personal injury attorneys are working closely with survivors to help them pursue fair compensation in Lyft sexual assault lawsuits. We encourage you to schedule a free consultation with our team by calling us at (866) 535-9515 or completing our online contact form.
Lyft Driver Rapes Florida Mom, Highlighting Alarming Pattern of Rideshare Sexual Assault
Rideshare services like Lyft have built their business on offering private, convenient transportation with vetted drivers. Lyft rideshare services are supposed to provide a safe way for people in need of transport such as intoxicated passengers, to get home, but this was not the case for Tabatha Means. In 2019, the Florida mother ordered a Lyft, expecting that she would be transported to her destination without incident. What unfolded was a chilling example of how Lyft’s negligence leaves riders vulnerable to sexual assault.
In a Lyft sexual assault lawsuit filed in January 2024, Means recounts being sexually harassed and groped by her driver during the course of the ride, which escalated into him raping her in her own home multiple times. Not only did Means repeatedly ask the driver to stop, but even if she hadn’t, she was still unable to consent because she was intoxicated at the time of the assault. As a result of being raped, Means became pregnant with the Lyft driver’s child, which has since been verified through DNA testing.
Lyft’s so-called robust background check efforts and safety features have once again failed to prevent a sexual predator from attacking a passenger, making Means one of the thousands of survivors of a Lyft sexual assault. Over a three-year period beginning in 2017, the rideshare company documented 4,158 instances of sexual misconduct, giving the public a glimpse into the magnitude of the problem. This data does not include survivors like Means, who did not file a report with Lyft, so the number of potential Lyft sexual assault plaintiffs may be considerably higher than the rideshare company’s internal data would suggest.
Lyft May Be Liable for Rape Survivor’s Damages Based on Its Negligent Hiring Practices
Means’ sexual assault claim against Lyft contends that her driver should not have made it through the background check process, and called into question the legitimacy of Lyft’s hiring policies. She filed her Lyft sexual assault lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California, where a group of similar claims will be heard. Plaintiffs like Means argue that rideshare companies like Lyft and Uber are legally responsible in situations where their low standards or lack of enforcement of reasonable hiring criteria allowed a sexual predator to work as a driver and assault riders.
Despite pleas from survivors and the general public to establish stricter protocols, Lyft has yet to acknowledge its role in creating loopholes in the hiring process. For example, rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft have avoided using fingerprints to confirm a driver’s identity, which could allow an individual with a record of sexual assault or other abusive behaviors to work for the platform, resulting in devastating situations like the case where a college student was raped by an Uber driver with an extensive criminal history in April 2023.
Uber and Lyft Legal Strategy Aims to Distance Rideshare Companies From the Drivers They Hire
Rideshare companies have denied fault, defending their hiring practices and using drivers’ designation as independent contractors as a liability shield. In Lyft rideshare accident lawsuits, the company has deployed the latter argument to suggest it is not responsible for the illicit actions of its drivers even when the Lyft driver is accepting rides through the app or is engaged in transporting a passenger. Thus far, this has not been sufficient to prevent personal injury lawsuits from proceeding, so at this point, it is fair to assume the same line of reasoning will not protect Lyft from facing sexual assault claims.
In Means’ sexual assault claim specifically, Lyft disputes that her ride was conducted via their app, which would absolve the company of culpability for the driver’s actions. Representatives for Means will need to prove that her ride occurred within the parameters of the platform, which would activate Lyft’s liability. If survivors like Tabatha Means are able to demonstrate that Lyft was aware or should have known that a driver was a threat to passengers due to their history of misconduct, plaintiffs may be entitled to recover compensation for their financial and emotional losses related to their sexual assault.
Survivor Seeks Compensation After Lyft Driver Impregnates Her
For Means, the consequences of being raped by her Lyft driver went far beyond the psychological toll of the initial attack. As a result of her unexpected pregnancy, she endured considerable emotional and financial costs. To begin with, Means suffered a physically and emotionally traumatic pregnancy, marked by three hemorrhages. Her son was born premature, requiring specialized care in the NICU. Babies born this early are at risk of having underdeveloped organs, neurodevelopmental disorders, visual or hearing impairment, and other serious health issues.
Although Means’ Lyft sexual assault lawsuit has not disclosed specific damages yet, based on the facts of the case, damages may include:
- Medical bills related to prenatal care, Means’ C-section delivery, and her son’s treatment in the NICU
- Lost wages incurred while recovering from the sexual assault and giving birth
- Reduced earning capacity
- Childcare expenses
- Emotional distress related to being raped, and enduring a complicated delivery
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of quality of life
Means’ was subject to not only the typical stressors of pregnancy but also the physical recovery of having major abdominal surgery to deliver her son at 33 weeks, only to spend a month anxiously awaiting him to get discharged from receiving around-the-clock care. The ensuing monetary costs have created a substantial economic burden for Means, who also provides for her other children.
In the long run, Means has acquired the additional financial responsibilities of her son’s education, medical care, housing, and other expenses that come with raising a child. Sexual assault survivors like Means should engage capable legal representation for their best chance of maximizing their compensation for these types of damages in Lyft sexual assault lawsuits.
Contact Our Skilled Personal Injury Lawyers About Your Lyft Sexual Assault Lawsuit
As of January 2024, the Lyft sexual assault claims have not been consolidated in federal court like the Uber multidistrict litigation, but our rideshare sexual assault attorneys are invested in helping these claims progress. We have successfully helped numerous sexual assault survivors recover compensation for the damages they deserve based on our broad understanding of the personal injury claims process, willingness to confront powerful companies or institutions, and cultivated skill set.
Our team considers it an honor to be entrusted by sexual assault survivors, and we strive to be the champions our clients need to hold negligent businesses like Uber and Lyft liable for endangering their customers’ safety. Schedule a free consultation with one of our accomplished personal injury lawyers by calling us at (866) 535-9515 or completing our online contact form today. We can provide you with instrumental legal support as you pursue fair compensation in a Lyft sexual assault lawsuit.