On Wednesday, January 8, 2020, Brooks Cutter, Senior Partner at Cutter Law P.C., and several other attorneys made a move to coordinate more than twenty sexual assault lawsuits against the ride-sharing firm Lyft Inc. The group of lawyers argued whether to coordinate last Wednesday as “part of California’s Judicial Council Coordinated Proceedings” (Law.com). The total number of alleged incidences in the coordination is 38.
What Do Those In Favor of Coordination Have to Say?
Cutter, along with William Levin of Levin Simes Abrams, both argued heavily for coordination. Additionally, Mike Bomberger of Estey & Bomberger, who was present on Wednesday, said:
“All these cases begin and end when Lyft created this app that put two strangers together in legalized hitchhiking. Their product created that platform, and they created an environment where predators can assault women. Also, they had knowledge for a long period of time of the number of assaults that happen in their vehicles.” Mike Bomberger of Estey & Bomberger (from Law.com)
Lyft is Stalling
It is unfortunately common for the defendant to stall during discovery and litigation. However, Lyft seems to be doubling down in their efforts to do so. Most of the lawsuits against Lyft stated that they didn’t respond to incidents of sexual assault from their drivers. Moreover, the company didn’t change any of its screening practices. Furthermore, Lyft also failed to start closely monitoring its drivers in light of these incidents and accusations.
In fact, concerning Lyft’s lack of driver monitoring, attorney Meghan McCormick of Levin Simes Abrams said:
“In our mind, it’s an indication of what at minimum Lyft could do more to be more responsible as a company in terms of ensuring the safety of its passengers. More than anything, we’d like there to be mandatory cameras in the car and a mechanism for a passenger to confirm a change in route or destination.” – Meghan McCormick of Levin Simes Abrams (Law.com)
Why is Lyft Stalling The Coordination?
Why is such a large company stalling? Likely, Lyft is stalling because their representation doesn’t feel like the coordination is precedented. For example, during a Nov. 6 filing, one of their representatives, Beth Stewart, a partner at Williams & Connolly, called the move an “improvident and unprecedented invitation to make San Francisco Superior Court a national clearinghouse for claims against San Francisco-based companies” (Law.com ).
She also said, in the same filings, that:
“The Petition before the Court is not a conventional petition to secure coordination of similar complex cases filed in different California counties. … The cases do not concern a mass tort: plaintiffs do not allege that they were injured in the same catastrophic accident or by the same environmental contamination. Nor, like many instances of coordinated litigation, do they allege they used the same defective drug or medical device. The sole common thread in the cases is that plaintiffs used the Lyft app to match with a driver.” – Beth Stewart of Williams & Connoly in a Nov. 6 filing.
Lyft Sexual Assault Lawyers You Can Rely On
As mentioned earlier, Brooks Cutter is one of the many attorneys seeking sexual assault lawsuit coordination against Lyft Inc. Our firm believes that one victim of sexual assault is far too many. If you’ve been the victim of sexual assault, especially if it happened in a Lyft, then contact us. We have the experience, education, and will to help you through this undoubtedly stressful time.