A lawsuit has been filed against Uber by a woman who got raped by a driver working for Uber in India. This follows media reports that Uber executives managed to obtain the woman’s medical records after the incident.
The woman who is going by the name Jane Doe in the court case and who is now a resident of Texas first filed a lawsuit against the ride-hailing service firm two years ago following the rape incident in which she accused Uber of fraud and negligence. Uber settled the case for more than $3 million while Shiv Kumar Yadav, the Uber driver accused of raping her, was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment.
At the time Uber came under fire over the background checks it conducted on its driver after it was revealed that Yadav was facing four other criminal charges when he raped Jane Doe. The ride service was even banned temporarily in India. Travis Kalanick, the chief executive officer of Uber who has announced he is taking a leave of absence from the company, promised at the time to ensure that the perpetrator of the crime was brought to justice and that the ride service would do everything possible to help both the victim and the victim’s family in recovery.
In the recent past, however, reports have emerged which show that a couple of executives at Uber tried to undermine Jane Doe’s rape case using information obtained from her medical records which were supposed to be confidential. One of the executives who allegedly obtained the confidential information was Eric Alexander, who was Uber’s president for the Asia Pacific region. The medical records obtained by Alexander were shown to a senior vice president who has since then left, Emil Michael and Kalanick.
Intrusion of privacy
After the media reports, Uber expressed regret over what had happened.
“No one should have to go through a horrific experience like this, and we’re truly sorry that she’s had to relive it over the last few weeks,” a spokesperson for Uber said in an emailed statement.
In her current lawsuit, Jane Doe, accuses Uber of intruding into her private affair, publicly disclosing private facts about her as well as defamation. There is also a suggestion in the lawsuit that the senior Uber executives namely Michael, Alexander and Kalanick suspected rivals to have been behind the rape accusation after having conspired to defame the firm.
The lawsuit comes after Uber adopted recommendations meant to clean up its image that were contained in a report prepared by Eric Holder, a former attorney general of the United States.