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Woman Allegedly Assaulted by Uber Driver in Downtown L.A. Seeks Default Judgment

10:21 AM PST on March 2, 2023

    Downtown—A woman is seeking a default judgment against Uber Technologies Inc., alleging the ride-hailing company has not participated in her lawsuit in which she maintains she was sexually battered by a company driver in a downtown Los Angeles alley in 2022 after she sought a ride from an area lounge. The plaintiff, identified only as Jane Doe, alleges negligence, intentional and negligent representation, battery, sexual battery, assault and false imprisonment, and seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages in the Los Angeles Superior Court suit brought Jan. 5.

    On Feb. 23, her attorneys filed additional court papers seeking a default judgment against Uber and Raiser-CA LLC. The Raiser arm of Uber typically deals with airport agreements, government licenses, and class action lawsuits.Plaintiff joins the thousands of other female victims who had been sexually assaulted by Uber drivers—possibly hundreds of thousands, the lawsuit states.

    An Uber representative previously issued a statement regarding the suit. "Sexual assault is a tragic crime," the statement read. "While we cannot comment on pending litigation, we take any report of this nature very seriously. We are committed to keeping safety at the forefront of everything we do, which is why we are continuously building features and policies designed to help make the platform safer." Doe began using Uber after being convinced that it was a safe service, a conclusion she reached based on the company's advertising and from her experience taking Uber rides with friends who already had Uber's digital smartphone application, the suit states.

    "She rode in Uber cars and was impressed by the deliberate appearance which Uber had cultivated, that these were high-end, clean cars driven by professional Uber drivers,'' the suit states.

    Doe requested an Uber ride on Jan. 15, 2022, and she was picked up about 3:05 a.m. outside the Blue Moon Hookah Lounge on South Hill Street near downtown Los Angeles, according to the suit, which further states her expected drop-off point was on Main Street was about five minutes away, according to the suit.

    Instead, Doe was driven to an alley, where she woke up to find herself being sexually assaulted by the driver, her suit alleges. The two struggled, but Doe was unable to escape and the driver continued to abuse her until eventually letting her out blocks from her destination, according to the suit, which includes security footage of the alleged drop-off point and the Uber sticker on the car's windshield.

    "Jane Doe is now living from the trauma and injuries sustained that night and will continue to live with this pain and suffering for the rest of her life,'' the suit states.

    Uber breached its duty to Doe in the hiring, supervision of and/or retention of the Uber Driver, who was unfit and incompetent to perform the work for which he was hired, the suit states.

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