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Uber assault
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https://www.nbclosangeles.com/...RLy34GfIAZiUd5WOJD8o

Uber provides info via the app of the make and model of the car, the license plate number, and the driver's name. Female passenger who is too drunk to verify that information gets into the wrong car, which is marked by a fake but indistinguishable Uber sticker that the driver printed out at home, and is later sexually assaulted.

Uber is apparently aware that this has happened in the past.

Knowing that this is a potential problem, what is Uber's duty of care? Is there more that it can reasonable do?
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Re: Uber assault [AlanShearer] [ In reply to ]
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there was also a recent story of a family taken to the airport... driver goes back to their house and tries to rob it. Alarm goes off..decided to rob a neighbor instead. Ring doorbell cam catches him and they put 2&2 together.. Uber driver.
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Re: Uber assault [spntrxi] [ In reply to ]
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That's a different issue that the one in the story. I think it'd be even more of a stretch there to hold Uber liable, assuming that Uber conducts an appropriate background check (which it's my understanding that they're not doing them), even though it was one of their drivers.

The article I posted was about people pretending to be an Uber driver, waiting until closing time at a popular bar and then picking up a drunk women who appears to be waiting for an Uber and is too shitfaced to realize that it's not her car.
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Re: Uber assault [AlanShearer] [ In reply to ]
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I've had the pleasure (displeasure?) Of driving Uber.
At some point there needs to be personal responsibility.
I've had random people jump in my car. I could point out that someone should protect me from that but I know it can happen and I can rectify the situation.

I have had a young, blacked out woman dumped in my car for me to deal with. After that one time, i told people they can either call family or I'm calling 911.
The blacked out girl regained enough consciousness to tell me to leave her on the curb. As a dad and someone who couldn't morally justify that, i ended up figuring out her house and carried her in. Her mom was quite freaked out but I made her understand the situation and she ended up being thankful. My exposure: she could have accused me of rape (i never did anything but she was too far gone to know any better); it could have turned into a medical emergency as she already had a level of alcohol poisoning. Hence, the policy I adopted moving forward.

To the South Carolina incident, her friends should have made sure she got home safely.
In my college days, we looked after each other. Sure, you might have a mustache drawn on your face when you woke up, but you got home safe.
How does Uber keep someone from getting in the wrong car?
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Re: Uber assault [AlanShearer] [ In reply to ]
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I don't think uber is liable. They have provided all of the correct identification to match the correct car. The person getting in the car has to bear some responsibility for their own safety and well being.

However, because they are not liable does not mean there isn't a problem to be solved. There is.

Perhaps uber could create a new policy that is clear to both drivers and customers that a customer may not enter the car without the driver matching up the driver/car with their request electronically. Something like "If we fail to ever require confirmation before you get in - your ride is free" sort of policy. It doesn't mean that if the driver *doesn't* do so they are legally liable but the driver can be fired for failure to comply with this company policy (say "three strikes you're out" or whatever) - it will help minimize these crimes. After a while this new behavior may be a new norm industry wide. Unfortunately, it takes crimes like these to show us the flaws in this new(ish) industry.

However, I'm just spitballin' here and this is off the top of my head...
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Re: Uber assault [Frank] [ In reply to ]
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Frank wrote:
I don't think uber is liable. They have provided all of the correct identification to match the correct car. The person getting in the car has to bear some responsibility for their own safety and well being.

However, because they are not liable does not mean there isn't a problem to be solved. There is.

Perhaps uber could create a new policy that is clear to both drivers and customers that a customer may not enter the car without the driver matching up the driver/car with their request electronically. Something like "If we fail to ever require confirmation before you get in - your ride is free" sort of policy. It doesn't mean that if the driver *doesn't* do so they are legally liable but the driver can be fired for failure to comply with this company policy (say "three strikes you're out" or whatever) - it will help minimize these crimes. After a while this new behavior may be a new norm industry wide. Unfortunately, it takes crimes like these to show us the flaws in this new(ish) industry.

However, I'm just spitballin' here and this is off the top of my head...

But is the problem Uber's to solve. The person who was too drunk to know what car to get into is at fault, and may not have been able to meet any standard of identification. In this case the fault lies with the the Assaulter and the drunk.

Imagine your drunk at a bar and call a friend for a ride. You leave bar and get into a car that looks like your friends. You get assaulted. Should your friend now do anything different next time you call to prevent this from happening to you again? No. There's nothing your friend could do.
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Re: Uber assault [Bumble Bee] [ In reply to ]
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I agree with the need for personal responsibility. I've always advised my college age kids that the first defense is to not get too drunk that they're not in control but that, as a back up, they should still be around friends who will protect them. That even if they're using a service like Uber, they still need to have someone to remain the designated reasonably sober friend.

And this is not victim blaming. The victims of these kind of assaults should not be blamed. They got drunk and didn't have backup. It happens. But the question here is whether a third party who did not commit the assault should be held liable for something that an unrelated criminal did.

I suspect the plaintiffs' argument will be that Uber advertises itself as a service for people who are too drunk to drive, so it's on notice that a certain percentage of potential customers will be drunk, perhaps too intoxicated to check to see if the right car has pulled up. Uber is also on notice that criminals may take advantage of this. So does Uber have an obligation to do something more, given how it caters to this type of customer? I'm curious if there's anything additional technologically that Uber could do.
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Re: Uber assault [Frank] [ In reply to ]
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You've never driven rideshare.

Passengers will figure out how to game the system to get free rides.

It really comes down to personal responsibility.

Next up: scooters. The media blames helmets. From what I've seen firsthand, helmets won't solve those issues.
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Re: Uber assault [AlanShearer] [ In reply to ]
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I know I'm opening a massive can of worms going here, but is holding Uber liable similar to holding a gun manufacturer liable for a shooting death or a car manufacturer liable for vehicular manslaughter? Not trying to be sarcastic, just curious to what end do we forsake personal responsibility?
What if friends were held liable for allowing the drunk person to get in the wrong car?

I believe Uber should provide training to drivers on how to handle situations.

I'm not s fan of Uber btw. They paid off our governor to the tune of $150k to end city level legislation that Uber opposed.
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Re: Uber assault [velocomp] [ In reply to ]
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But is the problem Uber's to solve. The person who was too drunk to know what car to get into is at fault, and may not have been able to meet any standard of identification. In this case the fault lies with the the Assaulter and the drunk.

I would generally agree.

But as I just posted, Uber is marketed among other things as a service for those who are too drunk to drive. It makes money off of being the backup for people who don't have a designated driver. People go to a bar knowing that they can get drunk and take an Uber. Uber knows and encourages this. (Overall, this is a good thing in my opinion.)

From there, it follows that a good number of customers who use Uber for this purpose will be too intoxicated to make use of the app's security features (license plate, make and model, driver name). And from the article, Uber is aware that there are criminals who take advantage of this.

Assuming additional protective measures are available and reasonable, does Uber have an obligation to implement them? And if Uber is on notice and if such measures exist, should Uber be liable for the foreseeable and resulting harm?

This raises another question -- what is the bar's responsibility? For example, in many jurisdictions, a bar can be held liable for a drunk patron who drives under the influence after leaving the bar and causes a collision, assuming that the bar continued serving the patron knowing he or she was drunk. I know it's a lot easier for a third party to recover than it is for the drunken patron, mostly because the drunken patron who drives is considered responsible for his or her conduct. But should the bar be liable when the drunken patron, instead of driving, orders an uber, hops in the wrong car, and is assaulted? In the latter case, the drunken patron was at least being more responsible by ordering an Uber than by driving. And there certainly are measures here that the bar could have taken to ensure that the patron got in the right car.
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Re: Uber assault [AlanShearer] [ In reply to ]
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AlanShearer wrote:
I agree with the need for personal responsibility. I've always advised my college age kids that the first defense is to not get too drunk that they're not in control but that, as a back up, they should still be around friends who will protect them. That even if they're using a service like Uber, they still need to have someone to remain the designated reasonably sober friend.

And this is not victim blaming. The victims of these kind of assaults should not be blamed. They got drunk and didn't have backup. It happens. But the question here is whether a third party who did not commit the assault should be held liable for something that an unrelated criminal did.

I suspect the plaintiffs' argument will be that Uber advertises itself as a service for people who are too drunk to drive, so it's on notice that a certain percentage of potential customers will be drunk, perhaps too intoxicated to check to see if the right car has pulled up. Uber is also on notice that criminals may take advantage of this. So does Uber have an obligation to do something more, given how it caters to this type of customer? I'm curious if there's anything additional technologically that Uber could do.

The problem is what can a driver do when they get to the site and the person they are to pick up is not there.

The answer??? Nothing...

There is nothing technological that they should or could do. Maybe the person took lyft instead. Maybe they found someone else to ride with. Maybe they've been abducted. But none of that is Uber's business or responsibility.
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Re: Uber assault [Frank] [ In reply to ]
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Frank wrote:
I don't think uber is liable. They have provided all of the correct identification to match the correct car. The person getting in the car has to bear some responsibility for their own safety and well being.

However, because they are not liable does not mean there isn't a problem to be solved. There is.

Perhaps uber could create a new policy that is clear to both drivers and customers that a customer may not enter the car without the driver matching up the driver/car with their request electronically. Something like "If we fail to ever require confirmation before you get in - your ride is free" sort of policy. It doesn't mean that if the driver *doesn't* do so they are legally liable but the driver can be fired for failure to comply with this company policy (say "three strikes you're out" or whatever) - it will help minimize these crimes. After a while this new behavior may be a new norm industry wide. Unfortunately, it takes crimes like these to show us the flaws in this new(ish) industry.


I will also add that Counterfeiting in general is a big problem in the world, weather its products or services such as Uber. It would be good for Uber and others to come up with a better policy but it still would a be a challenge if one party is being drunk at 2am when the transaction occurs.
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Re: Uber assault [AlanShearer] [ In reply to ]
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Don’t get drunk and get into a stranger’s car by yourself.

- The thrall alone takes instant vengeance; the coward never...
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Re: Uber assault [velocomp] [ In reply to ]
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velocomp wrote:
AlanShearer wrote:
I agree with the need for personal responsibility. I've always advised my college age kids that the first defense is to not get too drunk that they're not in control but that, as a back up, they should still be around friends who will protect them. That even if they're using a service like Uber, they still need to have someone to remain the designated reasonably sober friend.

And this is not victim blaming. The victims of these kind of assaults should not be blamed. They got drunk and didn't have backup. It happens. But the question here is whether a third party who did not commit the assault should be held liable for something that an unrelated criminal did.

I suspect the plaintiffs' argument will be that Uber advertises itself as a service for people who are too drunk to drive, so it's on notice that a certain percentage of potential customers will be drunk, perhaps too intoxicated to check to see if the right car has pulled up. Uber is also on notice that criminals may take advantage of this. So does Uber have an obligation to do something more, given how it caters to this type of customer? I'm curious if there's anything additional technologically that Uber could do.


The problem is what can a driver do when they get to the site and the person they are to pick up is not there.

The answer??? Nothing...

There is nothing technological that they should or could do. Maybe the person took lyft instead. Maybe they found someone else to ride with. Maybe they've been abducted. But none of that is Uber's business or responsibility.

Is there really nothing? I'll admit that I'm not the most creative, but how about an alarm or signal that goes off on the app when the correct car has arrived? Passenger learns not to hop into any car unless that alarm has gone off. There probably are other solutions.
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Re: Uber assault [Duffy] [ In reply to ]
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Duffy wrote:
Don’t get drunk and get into a stranger’s car by yourself.


Makes sense. But something similar could be said about advertising as a service for profit something that encourages exactly that.
Last edited by: AlanShearer: Apr 9, 19 16:36
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Re: Uber assault [Duffy] [ In reply to ]
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Duffy wrote:
Don’t get drunk and get into a stranger’s car by yourself.

THIS.

What changed from 25 years ago when we didn't abandon our friends?
I already posted one story. Another time I had a very sober co-worker to the passed out drunk who took the ride to the drink's house.
The biggest difference from my previous story? The co-worker wraps in her 30s, not 20.
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Re: Uber assault [Bumble Bee] [ In reply to ]
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Bumble Bee wrote:
I know I'm opening a massive can of worms going here, but is holding Uber liable similar to holding a gun manufacturer liable for a shooting death or a car manufacturer liable for vehicular manslaughter? Not trying to be sarcastic, just curious to what end do we forsake personal responsibility?
What if friends were held liable for allowing the drunk person to get in the wrong car?

I believe Uber should provide training to drivers on how to handle situations.

I'm not s fan of Uber btw. They paid off our governor to the tune of $150k to end city level legislation that Uber opposed.


Wouldn't a better albeit still flawed analogy be holding a bar liable for the foreseeable conduct of drunken patrons? There's a reason why bars will cut you off, take your keys, call the cops . . .
Last edited by: AlanShearer: Apr 9, 19 11:31
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Re: Uber assault [AlanShearer] [ In reply to ]
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My point is Uber cannot control someone getting in the wrong car.

A bar can attempt to not over-serve a patron.
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Re: Uber assault [AlanShearer] [ In reply to ]
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Holding Uber liable is like holding the local police department liable for someone who impersonated a police officer.

- The thrall alone takes instant vengeance; the coward never...
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Re: Uber assault [velocomp] [ In reply to ]
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velocomp wrote:
Frank wrote:
I don't think uber is liable. They have provided all of the correct identification to match the correct car. The person getting in the car has to bear some responsibility for their own safety and well being.

However, because they are not liable does not mean there isn't a problem to be solved. There is.

Perhaps uber could create a new policy that is clear to both drivers and customers that a customer may not enter the car without the driver matching up the driver/car with their request electronically. Something like "If we fail to ever require confirmation before you get in - your ride is free" sort of policy. It doesn't mean that if the driver *doesn't* do so they are legally liable but the driver can be fired for failure to comply with this company policy (say "three strikes you're out" or whatever) - it will help minimize these crimes. After a while this new behavior may be a new norm industry wide. Unfortunately, it takes crimes like these to show us the flaws in this new(ish) industry.

However, I'm just spitballin' here and this is off the top of my head...


But is the problem Uber's to solve. The person who was too drunk to know what car to get into is at fault, and may not have been able to meet any standard of identification. In this case the fault lies with the the Assaulter and the drunk.

Imagine your drunk at a bar and call a friend for a ride. You leave bar and get into a car that looks like your friends. You get assaulted. Should your friend now do anything different next time you call to prevent this from happening to you again? No. There's nothing your friend could do.

No. To be clear: It is absolutely not ubers problem to fix. They bear no responsibility. However, it may be right thing to do. People are idiots and drunk women are going to continue to get victimized by uber scammers. If I were uber and any other ride service - I would do my best to make my industry safe for all. If it means that the drivers have to confirm they have the correct passenger - so be it. If not, that's ok too. Things can just stay as they are. I just don't have a better idea at the moment.
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Re: Uber assault [AlanShearer] [ In reply to ]
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It would be very easy for each uber driver to have a unique QR code (even a sticker or magnet attached to the passenger door or inside window) that could be scanned from the app to verify that the correct car has arrived. Drunk or not most people can and do still operate their phones. If this became practice then this particular problem could all but be eliminated.
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Re: Uber assault [Duffy] [ In reply to ]
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Duffy wrote:
Don’t get drunk and get into a stranger’s car by yourself.

This.

But even if she had gotten into the Uber vehicle, it's still a stranger's car.
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Re: Uber assault [40-Tude] [ In reply to ]
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40-Tude wrote:
Duffy wrote:
Don’t get drunk and get into a stranger’s car by yourself.

This.

But even if she had gotten into the Uber vehicle, it's still a stranger's car.

Right. Don’t get drunk and get into a stranger’s car by yourself.

- The thrall alone takes instant vengeance; the coward never...
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Re: Uber assault [AlanShearer] [ In reply to ]
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I drive Lyft and we have a Lyft light that they give us after a certain number of rides, like 900. When we get to the pickup point the light turns from pink to some other shade I think yellow or green.

I've seen Uber cars that have a similar blue light but I don't know what it does when they get to the pickup point


Formally known as Cherrycracker
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Re: Uber assault [AlanShearer] [ In reply to ]
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AlanShearer wrote:
I agree with the need for personal responsibility. I've always advised my college age kids that the first defense is to not get too drunk that they're not in control but that, as a back up, they should still be around friends who will protect them. That even if they're using a service like Uber, they still need to have someone to remain the designated reasonably sober friend.

And this is not victim blaming. The victims of these kind of assaults should not be blamed. They got drunk and didn't have backup. It happens. But the question here is whether a third party who did not commit the assault should be held liable for something that an unrelated criminal did.

I suspect the plaintiffs' argument will be that Uber advertises itself as a service for people who are too drunk to drive, so it's on notice that a certain percentage of potential customers will be drunk, perhaps too intoxicated to check to see if the right car has pulled up. Uber is also on notice that criminals may take advantage of this. So does Uber have an obligation to do something more, given how it caters to this type of customer? I'm curious if there's anything additional technologically that Uber could do.

Yes, on personal responsibility, and having some level of awareness on the part of the passenger.

But there is a technology-related step Uber can take. Their scheduling software/app knows to connect rider and driver/car. Shouldn't be difficult to also know if a connection has not been made and a missed connection could trigger a text or other alert to the rider. Maybe if she got this, she would've realized she's in the wrong car, before it's too late.
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