Lyft is facing a flood of lawsuits from women around the country who say the ride-hailing company has known for years — and failed to stop — what they describe as an epidemic of sexual assault and rape involving some of its drivers.
“This is out of control. And this needs to stop,” says attorney Laurel Simes, a partner in a San Francisco firm representing several dozen women who are suing the company.
Simes says her firm has fielded more than 150 calls so far from women who say they were abused. And more calls come in every day.
“There is a subset of them [Lyft drivers] out there looking for this opportunity, and they go for it,” Simes says. “And the results are devastating to the women and girls this happens to.”
The women are suing to force the company to fundamentally change the way it approaches safety. They accuse the company of knowing about alleged attacks for years but doing nothing to address the issue.
“If the public knew the true number of sexual assaults by ride-share drivers, women might not ever ride with these companies again,” says San Diego attorney Michael Bomberger, whose firm recently filed a lawsuit against Lyft on behalf of 14 rape and sexual assault victims.