Uber Gets Sued for Misrepresenting Driver Safety

September 29, 2015 | Category: Inadequate Security | Share

Generally when doing business, consumers expect to be able to rely on promises that companies have made. If a company fails them, does not live up to its promises or breaches any legal duty it has, the company should be held accountable. When harm happens, a Ft. Myers personal injury attorney like Randall Spivey should be consulted in order to provide advice to victims and help those who have sustained damages seek compensation for losses.

One company that is being accused of making false promises is the car-sharing service, Uber. Uber has grown into a company valued at around $50 billion by investors as the car-sharing service has moved into cities throughout the United States.

Uber has also been engaged in bitter battles with legislatures as it moves into cities without permission, and has been fighting taxi unions who believe the service is disrupting established business practices and putting consumers at risk.

A number of legal questions have been raised about Uber, including what responsibility, if any, the company has when its drivers get into accidents and hurt passengers. The latest lawsuit reported on by the New York Times, however, is focused on a different issue: Whether Uber misled consumers about the kind of background checks it was doing to make sure passengers using the car sharing service were not unsuspectingly picked up by criminals.

Is Uber Endangering Passengers By Misleading Consumers?

NY Times reports that Uber has provided assurances to consumers that it uses “industry-leading” screening to make sure no customers get picked up by a driver with a violent past. The problem is, background check systems being used by Uber may not be as comprehensive as Live Scan, which is favored by district attorneys, or as other background check systems used by local taxi companies.

In particular, Uber’s background check service may not go back as far as it is allowed to and it does not access criminal records that track aliases. Uber’s system also does not use fingerprints or other biometric identifiers.

The problems alleged to exist with Uber’s background check system are not just hypothetical. A lawsuit against the company claims to provide proof the company failed to uncover criminal records of 25 different drivers located in two major cities where the company is operating. 

These drivers were convicted of serious crimes like felony kidnapping for ransom with a firearm, assault with a firearm, drunk driving, welfare fraud, robbery and identity theft.

Uber argues that no background checks are 100 percent perfect and drivers have gotten through other systems including taxi background checks, despite having convictions for sexual offenses, violent offenses and child abuse. 

At the same time, though, both Uber and other competitors have fought proposals in states across the country that would require them to conduct background checks at least as comprehensive as those required of taxi drivers.

The lawsuit will likely be pending for a while, and Uber may settle the case as competitor Lyft has done when responding to other litigation.  However, the bottom line is, if Uber is putting consumers at risk, the company is vulnerable to litigation when customers are harmed because of the company’s misleading advertising or negligent business practices.

Those who suffer harm due to Uber’s failures should speak with a personal injury attorney in Ft. Myers about their options for pursuing a damage claim. Contact the Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A. today.

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