Photo by image from Lyft website
"Lyft knew that numerous women had been assaulted by drivers," says the lawsuit.
A woman who was allegedly raped by a Lyft driver in Cardiff in December 2016 has filed a lawsuit against the company and the driver in state court.
The lawsuit, filed by the unnamed victim, is suing the popular “ride-sharing” company for failing to supervise and train, negligent hiring, and for misrepresenting itself as a safe taxi service. The driver, Enrique Godoy, is also named in the lawsuit.
According to the complaint, the woman (referred to as Jane Doe in the lawsuit) hailed her driver just after 7 p.m. on December 9 from a friend's house in Cardiff. The woman claims that during the following hours Godoy "viciously and brutally raped" her. She suffered from lacerations on her nose and arms, as well as significant tissue damage from the sexual assault.
The woman reported the alleged assault to the police and Lyft's headquarters on December 10.
"These allegations are horrifying and our concern is with the victim," said Lyft spokesman Scott Coriell. "The first we were made aware of this incident was when we were contacted by law enforcement, at which time we permanently deactivated the driver's account. We have been working with law enforcement to support their investigation and will continue to assist going forward."
Attorneys for the woman say the company failed to properly screen Godoy before hiring him and that Lyft conducts substandard security checks of its drivers.
"Lyft knew that its security screening was deficient, that its background checks were below industry standards, and that its drivers were not trained or supervised, or given sexual harassment and abuse standards," reads the complaint. "Lyft knew that numerous women had been assaulted by drivers [and] that it was not safe for intoxicated women to get into cars with its drivers. Lyft intentionally concealed these facts, and deliberately represented the opposite — that its drivers offered the safest options for solo, intoxicated women seeking late night transportation."
Attorneys accuse the company of implementing a policy of "profits over people" and because of that has ignored safety measures and thorough background checks in favor of recruiting additional drivers.
San Diego County Superior Court judge Randa Trapp will preside over the case.