Uber and other ride-sharing companies including Lyft face allegations they failed to conduct proper background checks on drivers, putting passengers at risk of harm from their drivers. Despite not conducting adequate background checks, Uber allegedly marketed itself as having high standards for its drivers and having thorough screening processes.
Recent news reports, however, indicate that Uber background checks allowed thousands of criminals to become drivers for the company, putting passengers at risk of sexual assault and other violence.
CNN Uncovers Serious Problems with Uber Background Checks
According to CNN, Uber’s background check was so weak that it allowed Talal Chammout to become an Uber driver, even though he had a long list of convictions and allegations, including felony possession of firearms, shooting a minor, smuggling rocket launchers, and attacking his wife. Uber failed to run a background check on Chammout and three months after he became an Uber driver, he sexually assaulted one of his passengers.
Other drivers who have criminal records include a murder and a convicted attempted murder. Proper background checks would likely have weeded out drivers with serious convictions, protecting Uber passengers from harm.
Uber Violates its Own Policy; Helps Write Laws
Uber reportedly has a policy of not hiring drivers who have convictions for serious crimes or certain driving offenses. CNN found, however, that both Uber and Lyft drivers have been approved despite criminal records that should have disqualified them. Both companies say their background screening checks are fair but both have pushed back against stricter screening standards.
In addition to violating its own policy, Uber reportedly helped write the laws in some states regarding rideshare company background checks. In states where there are laws or regulations regarding ride-sharing background checks there are still no requirements for fingerprinting. New York City is the only area in the U.S. that requires Uber drivers and Lyft drivers to submit to fingerprinting. In contrast, in many states, taxi and limo drivers are required to undergo special background checks, including fingerprinting, before they are allowed to drive.
Congress Weighs in On Uber Sexual Assault and Lyft Sexual Assault
Nine members of Congress sent a letter to various ridesharing companies asking what the companies do to prevent sexual assaults and how they gather data on sexual assaults allegedly committed by their drivers. Meanwhile, some states launched investigations regarding Uber and Lyft background checks, citing concerns the companies fail to offer a proper screening of drivers and hire drivers who have criminal records.
Uber and Lyft Background Check Attorney
Uber and Lyft both face allegations that their screening processes are not strict enough and do not go far enough to protect passengers from harm, including sexual assault and other violence. Both companies have repeatedly fought against background check measures that include fingerprinting or more thorough screening. They are putting efficiency and speed in getting more drivers on the road ahead of passenger safety.
At Cutter Law, we understand the devastating consequences this can have on a victim. These ride-sharing companies have an obligation to ensure passengers are safe from harm and by not conducting proper background checks, they are failing their passengers. In cases where the companies are negligent and passengers are harmed by their drivers, Uber and Lyft must be held accountable for their actions.
If you or someone you love has been harmed by an Uber driver or Lyft driver, contact an attorney at Cutter Law for a free consultation. Our attorneys are available to discuss your options and answer your questions.