Lyft sued after Tampa woman says background check mix-up turned life 'upside down'
By Kelly Healey
A Tampa woman is suing the rideshare company, Lyft, after she said a mix-up in her background check cost her everything.
Jones’ attorney Tav Gomez said the confusion was over another person with the same name in another state.
"There's an individual with the same date of birth and name in Pennsylvania, (and) that person was arrested, charged and plead to a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct engaged in fighting," Gomez said.
Gomez said a company that conducts background checks and is used by Lyft confused the two people.
"I just feel like my life was just turned upside down,” Jones said.
Jones said earlier this year, she submitted fingerprints and contacted Pennsylvania authorities to clear her name.
But the mix-up happened again, this time with the background check company, "Checker."
"Look, this is the same thing that happened the first time and this is not me," Jones said.
"I was just confused. I was upset," Jones said.
Each time the error happened, Lyft took her off the road for weeks, Jones said.
But the cost was more than losing finances.
"I lost my home. I lost my vehicle, and I basically lost my kids," she said.
Jones is taking Lyft and Checker to court on accusations of violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act in this lawsuit.
The act protects consumers from willful or negligent inclusion of inaccurate information in consumers’ credit reports.
Lyft released this statement: "Safety is fundamental to our community. We act out of an abundance of caution whenever a third-party company returns concerning results. Once we were aware of the mix-up concerning Ms. Jones’ account, we worked to rectify the issue to ensure Ms. Jones could continue driving with Lyft."
But Jones’ attorney said rideshare companies need to “be looking out” when checking a common name.
Gomez said consumers should keep an eye on their credit and background reports.
"With today's technology, there's a very good chance you’re going to get your files mixed," Gomez said.
Jones said she's on the road again but has chosen not to drive with Lyft.