Uber Rolls Out Teen Accounts in California as Sex Assault Lawsuits Rise

Uber Rolls Out Teen Accounts in California as Sex Assault Lawsuits Rise

Uber made what many are calling a questionable decision in 2024. The rideshare giant rolled out a teen account option in California despite the mounting sexual abuse lawsuits nationwide. The company has faced numerous Uber sexual assault lawsuits, raising concerns about the safety and security of younger passengers using the platform.

First launched in 2023 in Las Vegas, Washington D.C., and Chicago, this feature arrived in California in 2024. Teens aged 13 to 17 can create personal accounts linked to their families’ profiles.

Uber sexual assault lawsuits

To combat instances of sexual assault, Uber has implemented a range of new safety features for drivers, including a unique option in Los Angeles that ensures only highly rated drivers can accept teen passengers, and they also have the choice to decline.

Parents can now track their child’s trip in real time, giving them peace of mind about their child’s whereabouts and the driver’s identity. They can also directly contact the driver and Uber’s support team during the trip. 

Teens can record audio during rides, and parents can set spending limits. Although teens riding alone in Ubers isn’t new, these features change how the company manages under-aged passengers.

Parents have long used Uber as an alternative to carpooling, and teens have created accounts despite the 18+ rule. According to Uber, checking IDs to verify age is primarily up to the drivers.

We not only provide the most up-to-date information on the pending lawsuit but are also a resource for Uber sexual assault survivors.

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Uber Sexual Assault Lawsuits Update

June 18, 2024 – Uber Sexual Assault Lawsuits Gain Momentum

In a significant development, the multidistrict litigation (MDL) against Uber concerning sexual assault allegations has seen substantial progress in June. As of June 18, 2024, the number of cases in the MDL has risen to 297, with more survivors coming forward to seek justice against the ride-hailing giant.

Key developments include:

Court Approval of Fact Sheets

The presiding judge has approved using Plaintiff Fact Sheets (PFS) and Defendant Fact Sheets (DFS). These documents will serve as crucial discovery tools, requiring both parties to provide detailed information and records related to the cases.

Uber Ordered to Disclose Prior Evidence

In a blow to Uber’s defense, the court has mandated the company to produce evidence previously submitted to various District Attorneys during state-level investigations. This includes information about Uber’s background checks, safety measures, and its handling of sexual assault claims.

Court Emphasizes Efficiency

Despite Uber’s objections based on varying state laws and its Terms of Use, the court prioritizes streamlining the discovery process, preventing inconsistent rulings, and conserving resources.

Judge Charles R. Breyer, overseeing the case in the Northern District of California, remains committed to maintaining a fair discovery process while holding Uber accountable. 

The court appears determined to ensure the MDL serves its intended purpose, potentially setting a precedent for how they handle similar cases.

As the litigation progresses, all eyes are on Uber’s response to these mounting legal challenges and whether this case leads to significant changes in the industry’s approach to passenger safety.

A Boston woman filed a sexual assault lawsuit against Uber, claiming she was attacked and raped in the Uber vehicle outside her home in early May 2024. 

Legal Battles Intensify

After being moved to federal court, we expect this case to consolidate into the pending MDL.

At the end of the month, a woman in California filed a lawsuit for an assault by an Uber driver when she used the rideshare app to go to a medical appointment. The woman claims the driver brought her to the medical facility but then climbed into the back seat with her and sexually assaulted her. 

The driver fled the scene after the assault. Both plaintiffs will likely claim damages, including a severe impact on their futures, issues involving family and friend relationships, emotional and physical trauma, and other devastating losses.

On June 11, 2024, Uber’s legal team argued in court that traditional product liability laws should not cover the company because, they contend, Uber’s app is not a physical product. 

Their attorneys argued that the company bears no responsibility for assaults committed by its drivers, asserting that such acts fall outside the scope of their job duties.

Presiding Judge Charles R. Breyer appeared skeptical of these arguments. He emphasized the need for legal protections to evolve alongside technological advancements, even when the nature of potential harm remains unchanged. 

Uber’s attempt to position itself as a digital intermediary may not hold up under legal scrutiny.

Adding to Uber’s legal woes, two new sexual assault lawsuits were filed against the company in May 2024. In Boston, a woman alleges she was attacked and raped in an Uber vehicle outside her home. 

Similarly, in California, another woman claims she was sexually assaulted by an Uber driver while en route to a medical appointment. Both cases are expected to be consolidated into the existing multidistrict litigation.

These new lawsuits underscore the ongoing concerns about passenger safety in ride-sharing services. The plaintiffs are likely to seek damages for emotional and physical trauma, impact on personal relationships, and other significant life disruptions resulting from the alleged assaults.

As the litigation progresses, legal experts closely watch how the court will interpret Uber’s responsibilities in the context of evolving technology and service models. The outcome of these cases could have far-reaching implications for the gig economy and how digital platforms are held accountable for user safety.

Uber, which has faced similar lawsuits, maintains that safety is a top priority. However, critics argue that the company’s efforts to distance itself legally from driver actions contradict its public stance on passenger protection.

This ongoing litigation is a critical test case for how traditional laws will be applied to modern, technology-driven services.

May 27, 2024 - Case Management Conference Addresses Complex Discovery Issues

On May 27, 2024, a critical case management conference was held in the ongoing multidistrict litigation (MDL) against Uber Technologies, Inc., addressing sexual assault allegations. 

The conference brought together legal representatives from both sides to discuss the litigation’s progress and resolve key discovery issues.

The MDL, which now encompasses nearly 300 federal lawsuits, runs parallel to California’s Judicial Council Coordinated Proceedings (JCCP), which includes an additional 395 lawsuits filed in California state courts. The sheer volume of cases underscores the magnitude of Uber’s legal challenge.

A primary point of contention emerged regarding Uber’s proposal to establish a filing deadline related to its argument on inconvenient forum locations. The plaintiffs’ counsel strongly opposed this move, characterizing it as arbitrary and potentially detrimental to victims already grappling with trauma.

Discovery processes remain a significant area of dispute. Uber has been producing redacted documents, citing privilege concerns, while plaintiffs’ attorneys push for more comprehensive disclosure. 

The complexity of electronic disclosures in these cases has led to intricate legal arguments.

The court has limited discovery of each plaintiff’s ride information and the details required in the Plaintiff Fact Sheets. However, the scope of future discovery, including expert witness disclosure and potential trial dates, remains unresolved.

May 22, 2024 - Uber Tries to Avoid Case Consolidation, Court Supports MDL

Uber’s defense team argued that the app’s Terms of Use language does not allow plaintiffs bringing sexual assault lawsuits to consolidate their claims in the nationwide Multidistrict Litigation (MDL). Judge Breyer disagreed. 

The clause prohibiting coordinated legal actions against Uber is unenforceable.

Enforcing Uber’s language would weaken the court’s capacity to manage and streamline continuing litigation and cancel Congress’s ability to protect public interests by allowing the consolidation of similar cases into an MDL.

Uber’s new language requires any person who an Uber driver abused to file a lawsuit in the district where the abuse occurred. This forum shopping provision undermines the public interests created by the laws that specifically allow the formation of an MDL. 

If the court had enforced Uber’s app language, the Uber sexual assault MDL would have been dismissed.

May 2, 2024 - Uber Sexual Assault MDL Continues to Grow

Twelve more cases were added to this multidistrict litigation in April, making the total case count of 252 Uber sexual assault claims pending in federal court.

April 17, 2024 - Issues Arise Over Electronic Evidence During Discovery

The plaintiffs and Uber began working through a discovery issue related to electronic documents that will be used as evidence in the Uber Sexual Assault MDL. 

The problem may seem minute, but these issues can make all the difference in a case that relies heavily on electronic information as proof.

The issue involves email and document links and the information within. 

These documents are often changed, and the links only go to the newest version. 

This presents a big problem from the plaintiff’s point of view because the newest version doesn’t have edits or comments that could show what Uber knew and when.

The plaintiffs asked the judge to build an automated retrieving system to find all linked document versions. Uber claims this would be too difficult and time-consuming, while the plaintiffs claim it’s technically possible and would be efficient.

This issue highlights the importance of the discovery process and the thought that goes into it. However, modern cases also present difficulties, especially when a defendant company is purely app-based. 

These cases require handling massive amounts of digital information and hiring the proper companies to find, retrieve, and sort through millions of emails, messages, documents, app records, and so much more.

To handle a case like this, you need to hire a law firm with the resources to handle complex cases and who understands the nuances of suing a giant corporation. Lawsuit Legal News is here to help.

April 15, 2024 - Uber Faces New Lawsuit Over Misleading Investors

Uber is facing a new lawsuit over sexual assault claims; however, this time, the plaintiffs aren’t assault victims. They’re investors. 

Investors and shareholders claim Uber’s CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, former CFO Nelson Chai, and other leaders misled them about the number of sexual assault cases they have pending against them. 

The plaintiffs allege Uber withheld the information to inflate Uber’s stock price. It has been estimated approximately 10,000 sexual assault claims are being considered.

April 10, 2024 - Uber Releases Improved Safety Features

Uber has recently unveiled a suite of new and enhanced safety features, as announced in their April 10th press release. These additions bolster passenger security and provide greater peace of mind during rides.

One notable improvement is the expansion of the RideCheck system, which monitors trips for unexpected stops, route deviations, or wrong directions, alerting passengers and allowing them to indicate their status.

Another key addition is the PIN Verification System, a four-digit code that passengers match to their driver, reducing the risk of entering the wrong vehicle.

Uber has also introduced an Audio Recording Feature, enabling passengers to request trip recordings. These are stored securely and only accessible if a safety report is filed.

The Share My Trip Option has been enhanced, allowing passengers to share real-time location and trip details with trusted contacts.

Uber offers the flexibility to activate these features selectively or automatically under specific conditions, such as time of day, day of the week, or proximity to specific locations like bars or restaurants.

While these improvements demonstrate Uber’s commitment to passenger safety, some may view them as a response to ongoing legal challenges related to sexual assault allegations. 

April 2, 2024 - Uber Assault MDL Judge Requires Uniform Fact Sheets From All Parties

In the ongoing multidistrict litigation (MDL) concerning Uber rideshare assault allegations, the court implemented a standardized fact-gathering process. All parties must complete and exchange detailed fact sheets, promoting efficient information sharing and helping identify key legal issues.

This approach streamlines the litigation process and assists the court in selecting representative cases for potential bellwether trials

The scope of the litigation has expanded significantly, with 43 new cases added since the start of 2024. This brings the total number of lawsuits in the MDL to 230, all involving claims of sexual or physical assault by Uber drivers against passengers.

Virginia and South Carolina court decisions set precedents that could affect this litigation. These rulings suggest that rideshare drivers’ actions can further the employer’s business, potentially making companies like Uber liable for their drivers’ conduct.

This interpretation challenges Uber’s longstanding claim that it is merely a technology platform connecting independent service providers with customers rather than an employer of drivers.


Matthew Dolman

Personal Injury Lawyer

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has represented over 11,000 injury victims and has served as lead counsel in over 1000 lawsuits. Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess of $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

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