FLORIDA – A woman who was allegedly raped and impregnated by a Lyft driver has sued the rideshare company and accused them of ‘prioritizing profit over safety’.
Uber Lyft Sexual Assaults – Riders & Drivers Claim Abuse
According to legal documents, the alleged attack resulted in pregnancy and the birth of her son.
The lawsuit was filed on Tuesday in the U.S. District Court Northern District of California and accused the company of negligent hiring, retention and supervision.
‘The night I was raped could have gone very differently if Lyft took the problem seriously and implemented common sense policies,’ Means tearfully said.
A spokesperson for Lyft denied all allegations against the company and said: ‘The alleged incident from 2019 did not take place on the Lyft platform while using the Lyft app, but rather involved a separate trip arranged between the individuals involved.’
How the Incident Happened
On the night of the alleged incident Means called a ride through the Lyft app and was picked up by a car shortly after it was requested.
When the driver pulled up he proceeded to roll down the passenger side window as Means confirmed that it was the correct driver, the lawsuit said.
Conversation Between Means and the Driver
The driver then told Means to hop in the front seat. She was allegedly intoxicated at the time and ‘her speech was noticeably slurred,’ according to the lawsuit.
Means recalled making ‘small talk’ with the driver and allegedly told him that she didn’t feel well before he went on to compliment her looks.
The suit detailed that the driver said that he didn’t understand how ‘a woman as sexy as her’ was alone that night.
‘These inappropriate comments made Plaintiff very uncomfortable, and she was eager for the short ride to end,’ the lawsuit said.
Once the driver reached her home, he allegedly pulled his vehicle into a parking spot and continued a conversation with Means.
‘She Rejected his Advances’
The suit said: ‘During this interaction, the Lyft driver began running his hand along her thigh and leaned in to kiss her. Plaintiff rejected his advances.’
Legal documents went on to detail how the driver then offered to walk Means into her home, but she insisted that she could do it on her own.
He proceeded to ignore her response, exited his car and followed Means into her home, according to the lawsuit.
Once the two were inside her residence he allegedly started to assault her ‘immediately’ as she ‘begged him to stop.’
‘It will be just fine and over before you know it,’ the Lyft driver said according to the lawsuit.
Then he Raped her
According to the suit, the driver then ‘forcibly’ made Means perform oral sex on him as he told her that he had just had a separate sexual encounter with ‘a girl I picked up before you.’
He then proceeded to force her on a bed where he ‘violently raped her’ even as she kept telling him to stop and that she didn’t want it, the suit stated.
When he had finished the alleged rape he reportedly told Means that he wanted ‘to go again’ before he had sex with her again.
At the end of the incident, the Lyft driver then grabbed his clothing and left Means’ house, the lawsuit said.
About a month after, Means discovered that she was pregnant after she took an at-home test.
She then told her sister about the pregnancy and the alleged rape by the driver.
Means described her pregnancy as a ‘nightmare’ as she went on to suffer three hemorrhage episodes before she gave birth to her son.
After the child’s birth, she went on to obtain an administrative order from Florida’s Child Support Service and was able to match the Lyft driver’s DNA sample to that of her sons, confirming he was the father.
‘Lyft knows its customers are getting raped. Every day is a struggle for me. At the same time, I need to be a mom to my youngest son. I love my kids so deeply, but there are a lot of mixed emotions,’ Means said in an interview.
Lyft has Always Been Aware
According to the suit, Lyft has been aware of drivers ‘sexually assaulting and raping female passengers’ since 2015.
The legal filling also accused the company of having lenient security measures between their drivers and passengers, including laxed background checks, in-car cameras and fingerprinting.
‘Lyft does not have a zero-tolerance policy for sexual misconduct and has allowed drivers who have been reported for misconduct to continue driving,’ the lawsuit stated.
Means has gone on to admit that she regrets not filing a police report after the incident occurred and has encouraged other woman to speak up.