Uber is the center of another lawsuit regarding the questionable backgrounds of some of its drivers. The popular rideshare company was sued for almost 9 million dollars in the State of Colorado this past November. The lawsuit was filed after an investigation found a large number of drivers were driving for the company with both criminal and driving record violations. This lawsuit is only one of hundreds Uber has faced in the past year over the eligibility, safety and actions of its contracted drivers.
November’s lawsuit was filed by the Colorado Public Utilities Commission. According to a CNBC article, Uber was sued for $8.9 million for not meeting Colorado’s ridesharing regulations and standards. Officials from the public utilities commission discovered that 57 of Uber’s contracted employees were driving with criminal convictions, traffic violations and revoked or suspended driver’s licenses.
Uber has been criticized for years over errors in its background check protocol and ridesharing policies. As of August 2017, Uber faced 433 lawsuits from both customers and drivers, according to an article from VentureBeat. The article also cited that several of these lawsuits were from customers who suffered some form of aggression or danger from the company’s contracted drivers due to negligence, absence of training, distracted driving or assault.
In another article covering the same lawsuit, USA Today revealed that for the almost 60 drivers that were recently discovered to have both criminal and driving record violations, the company still allowed these drivers to conduct operations. Uber performed background checks on these 57 drivers and permitted them to become contracted drivers, despite receiving adequate information to bar these individuals from driving. Furthermore, as stated in the same USA Today report, officials from the public utilities commission found in their investigation that of those drivers who were conducting operations with some sort of criminal histories several were using fake names. By using fake names, these specific drivers were able to go through the background check unnoticed, despite being convicted felons, serial offenders and in one instance, a former prison escapee.
Uber stated that they became aware of the lawsuit only after hearing the Colorado Public Utilities Commission’s press release. In the same CNBC article, the company expressed their surprise regarding the lawsuit, as they “had been working on the matter with state officials.” This $8.9 million lawsuit arrives after a year and a half investigation from Commission officials. The investigation was first initiated after a passenger was assaulted by an Uber driver in Vail, the popular ski town.
Ridesharing can be a convenient and cost efficient method of transportation. However, as lawsuits and investigations reveal the potential dangers of using services like Uber, passengers should remain aware and alert for the possibility of dangerous or questionable contracted drivers. Companies like Uber and those that offer similar services can increase the overall safety for their customers by better regulating and screening background check results of potential drivers. If you or a loved one has suffered a personal injury from a car accident as a result of a ridesharing service, contact one of our attorneys at Hammers Law Firm today. We are committed to seeking justice for your damages and holding companies like Uber responsible for their actions.