Showing posts with label Taxi Leaks Editorial August 14. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Taxi Leaks Editorial August 14. Show all posts

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Uber Driver Was Accused of Sexual Assault, But Not Fired. Then It Happened Again, Lawsuit Says.

Amber* and her friends spent a hot and humid July 2017 evening in Chattanooga, Tennessee, at The Pickle Barrel, a pub in a flatiron building with southern bites and a crowded roof deck.

As she had many nights before, Amber called an Uber for her and a friend to make the more than eight-mile trip home at about 1:30 a.m. But unlike those other nights, on July 22, 2017, Amber says she was sexually assaulted by her driver before she made it to her own front door.

Though Amber immediately reported her assault to both Uber and the authorities, another woman says she was victimized by that same driver just 15 days later.

Now, the women want answers.

Both unidentified plaintiffs filed a 65-page lawsuit against Uber last month in Hamilton County, Tennessee. The complaint was first covered by The Chattanoogan, and it claims the company was negligent in its retention of the alleged perpetrator, 26-year-old John Kyle Lane, after the first incident. The women are seeking at least $25,000 in damages to be determined at trial.

Lane began his ride with Amber by "offering details of his personal life that [she] found to be inappropriate," according to the complaint. After dropping off Amber’s friend, Lane arrived at her home, pulled into the driveway, and positioned his vehicle "such that he was between [her] and her house," the lawsuit claims.

Then, he allegedly locked the doors. Lane asked Amber how she felt about uncircumcised penises and then forced his genitals into her hand while groping her breast, according to both the lawsuit and police documents obtained by The Tennessean.

When Amber threatened to scream and jerked her hand away, Lane allegedly unlocked the door and let her out. As he sped away, Amber ran into her house and called the Red Bank Police Department and notified Uber, according to the lawsuit.

"This driver should be fired. I find him to be a danger to his passengers," Amber allegedly wrote at the end of her complaint to the company.

An Uber representative purportedly sent her an email shortly afterward, noting that the company had launched an internal investigation and that someone would be in touch with her as soon as possible. A phone call later that day from another representative confirmed the investigation, the lawsuit claims.

Uber refunded Amber’s money for the ride and placed a restriction on her profile so that she would never be paired with Lane again, according to the complaint.

Afterward, she was traumatized, had nightmares, and had difficulty sleeping, according to the lawsuit.

"The trauma of this event became embedded in her mind to the point where it often infiltrated her every thought, impeded her ability to carry out her daily activities and infected her relationship with her husband and young daughter," the complaint claims. She "suffered severe emotional distress and was forced to enter counseling and seek psychiatric treatment," the court papers say.

Meanwhile, Lane was still driving customers. On Aug. 6, 2017, he picked up Julia*.

She was trying to get home from downtown Chattanooga and, again, Lane struck up an "inappropriate" conversation and eventually asked if he could "come inside and ‘have a threesome’" with Julia and her boyfriend, court documents allege.

When she moved to get out of the car, Lane yelled and allegedly exposed his erect penis.

"You’re not going anywhere until you do something about this," he said, according to the complaint. She frantically left the vehicle and ran to the back of her house.

That evening, Julia reported the incident to the East Ridge Police Department and to Uber, which allegedly took six days to respond to her report, the complaint claims. The ride-hail giant said it would restrict Lane’s driver access and investigate the situation. A few days later, Julia allegedly received another message from the company, claiming that Lane’s account was put on hold until an investigation could be completed. She was also told that she would not be paired with Lane again.

After receiving another Aug. 14, 2017 email from Uber, Julia wrote: "I very much appreciate that I will not be paired with this Uber driver, but my concern is that another girl will end up with this individual and something worse will happen to her…. I have been a member of this community long before Uber came to our city and I feel a certain responsibility to the other women I live alongside."

Lane has been charged in Hamilton County with stalking, harassment, sexual battery and indecent exposure, according to The Tennessean. He is scheduled for a court hearing on Aug. 14 and 15, the newspaper reports.

Lane began driving for Uber in spring 2017, according to the lawsuit, which claims the company "failed to exercise reasonable care in retaining Lane and continuing to allow him to drive its customers."

In a statement sent to The Daily Beast on Monday night, an Uber spokeswoman said: "What’s been described is appalling and this driver remains permanently removed from the app."

Another suit against Uber, filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, first alleged in November 2017 that the ride-hail giant operates a system that enables perpetrators to have access to thousands of victims all over the country.

One driver is even accused of masturbating in the presence of a customer, explaining: "I thought this is what you wanted." The nine plaintiffs have each claimed that they were sexually assaulted, harassed, or kidnapped by their Uber driver.

"Uber has done everything possible to continue using low-cost, woefully inadequate background checks on drivers and has failed to monitor drivers for any violent or inappropriate conduct after they are hired," that lawsuit, amended in March, says. "Uber has created a system for bad actors to gain access to vulnerable victims."

Attorney Jeanne Christensen, who represents those plaintiffs, told The Daily Beast in March that "Uber’s goal is to stop women from getting the justice they deserve through our court system."

An April investigation by CNN found 103 reports of sexual assault by Uber drivers within the past four years.

An Uber spokesperson told CNN then that safety is the company’s top priority this year, pointing out numerous recent protocol updates, including more background checks, in addition to a "safety center" on the app. Another Uber spokesperson said in March that the company takes all sexual-misconduct allegations against its drivers "very seriously."

*Pseudonyms were given to the unidentified victims in these lawsuits.

from Taxi Leaks

MyTaxi Sacks Driver For Pointing Out Controventions Of Regulations 

Earlier this year, the flaws in the MyTaxi app passed before my inspection: 

it was possible for someone with multiple convictions to get on to their system, to the point of receiving a statement of earnings. 

But, it seems, MyTaxi is not for listening to those pointing out problems with this app. And one cabby found recently that his insistence on observing regulations meant being sacked from the platform altogether.

Chris Johnson pointed out that MyTaxi was offering app jobs to drivers outside the Greater London area - drivers could lose their licence if TfL concluded that the driver was plying for hire using the app. He asked if drivers were plying for hire on the app, or if an instant hire was a pre-booking (drivers can accept a pre-booking anywhere in England and Wales, but can only ply in their licensed area). He received no reply.

His TfL Taxi licence expired on the MyTaxi system, although he had renewed with TfL. But MyTaxi were sending him instant app jobs on an expired licence, so he complained that this was a public safety risk, as revoked drivers could still operate on MyTaxi on a potential expired TfL licence. No word from MyTaxi.

These are basic safety and regulation issues. And it gets worse.

MyTaxi tells the driver to charge a minimum fare of £10 at certain times of the day, but taxi drivers are not allowed to charge more than the metered fare - as it is an offence. Johnson explained to MyTaxi that MyTaxi could charge the customer more than the metered fare but that would mean that they are the principal in the contract, making him potentially a worker for them. Still no word from MyTaxi.

Read the full story on Zelo Street this link:-

from Taxi Leaks

EXCLUSIVE : Fake News From The LTDA...Surely Jim Thomas

Under the Heading FAKE NEWS The Rumour Mill, the LTDA have put out an article claiming that certain ill-informed and gossip-based websites are putting out posts about e-Taxis that are complete nonsense. 

The article they are referring to (albeit unnamed) is more likely to be (as we haven't seen it anywhere else), the post which appeared in Taxi Leaks news blog that was headed:  
Exclusive....Another Done Deal For London Taxis, From The Same Mob That Bought You Rear Fitted Credit Card Readers?

So far nothing fake or misleading here!
They say the so called article appeared first on some ill- informed and gossip-based websites before spreading to Twitter. This is not correct as the information appeared first on Twitter then, after we'd checked it out, appeared in Taxi Leaks!

As proof of the so called uninformed fake news gossip, the LTDA offer the explanation that the signage was authorised by the Department of Transport for Manchester City Council.
As evidence of the fakeness of the post they posted 3 images of which two they say, show signage that they claim were intended for Manchester Council. 

Our original article was based on receipt of a letter from the DfT which stated :

Letter reads:-
Thank you for your email to the Department of Transport of 22 July regarding electric Taxis. This passed to the traffic and technology division and I have been asked to reply.
I can confirm that signs have been approved for use by Transport for London.
See letter below. 

Yours sincerely
Fiona O'Neal

In the images sent to us, you can clearly see the TfL Surface Transport logo in the bottom right hand corner. 

As can be clearly seen, these signs were authorised by the DfT specificly for Transport for London and carry TfL's logo and address in the bottom right hand corner of the illustrations

The logos clearly marked out on the DFT PDF, appear to have been omitted from the images which appear in Taxi !

No only does it carry the TfL logo, it also has their address on each sign, 197 Blackfriars Road. 
Now unless we are mistaken, that's definitely not the address of Manchester City Council.....over to you Steve???

Was this an attempt to blacken the good name and reputation of Taxi Leaks?
Or was this an attempt to cover up the news from a whistleblower that the LTDA were pushing for e-Taxis only at the Bank Junction and Tottenham Court Road?

More bad press on its way for the general secretary of the LTDA in the pipe line... This appeared earlier on the ITA Twitter feed:
One of the proposals in the Task & Finish Group is it asks the Government to review the case for restricting the number of hours Taxi and PH drivers may drive.

Steve McNamara is an advisor to this group.
Why is he keeping this information to himself?
We need to know! And we need to know now!

Good luck paying for your new overpriced e-Taxi, if that particular proposal goes through.

No wonder Mr McNamara isn't happy with social media. 
Good luck explaining this away as fake news!

from Taxi Leaks