ORLANDO, Fla. — A woman who investigators said was raped by an Uber driver in Orlando last year after requesting a ride on the app is now suing the ride-sharing company.
The lawsuit claims the company's security screening of drivers is deficient and exposes riders to dangerous and potentially violent situations.
In the lawsuit, the passenger claims that Uber should have known some drivers, including her alleged rapist, Jorge Quintero, had the propensity to commit violent crimes.
Channel 9 found no records that indicate Quintero could be a violent criminal.
The lawsuit claims Uber could have put extra measures in place to prevent an attack, including allowing women to request only women drivers and mandating that every vehicle contains a camera.
A woman visiting Orlando for a graduation said that on May 21, 2017, she ordered an Uber to take her to her hotel
But what was supposed to be a 15-minute ride turned into an hour of terror.
She said she believes Quintero drugged the water in her bottle because she started to lose consciousness during the ride.
The victim said Quintero stopped at a different hotel, where he raped her. She then called the police.
Quintero was arrested months later and charged with rape and kidnapping.
The woman then filed the complaint, which blames Uber for not screening passengers carefully enough.
The suit claims that Uber, "does not adequately verify the documents submitted by prospective drivers.” It also claims background checks only go back seven years and that those checks don't show all arrests or convictions.
The suit also criticizes the ride-sharing company for not conducting in-person interviews and claims Uber refuses to require fingerprinting.
WFTV legal analyst Bill Sheaffer said a suit against a $50 billion company won't be easy.
“These lawsuits are long. They are costly and filled with legal issues that could bounce you out of court in a heartbeat,” Sheaffer said.
Uber said it cannot comment on pending litigation.
But court filings show the company is trying to get the woman into arbitration and settle the case out of a courtroom.
“For corporations, arbitration is a lot less expensive. It's a lot less time-consuming and they are more likely to get a favorable result,” Sheaffer said.
The suit claims that Uber should have a panic button that a rider can use to notify Uber or police if they are in trouble.
Uber just recently announced it is adding an emergency button, along with other safety upgrades, including annual background checks on drivers.
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