On Monday, a Lyft driver was arraigned on charges of sexual abuse based on allegations that he sexually assaulted a passenger early Sunday morning. According to Suffolk County police, 36-year-old Hussein Saleh picked up two women in Patchogue on December 16.
Police say that Saleh allegedly sexually abused the woman who was sitting in his front passenger seat during the ride. When this happened, one of the women called 911.
Officers responded to the call at around 3 a.m. Saleh was arrested and charged with two counts of sexual abuse in the first degree.
Lyft released a statement saying that the driver was immediately deactivated after the company was informed of the investigation.
Attorney contributor Laurence Banville represents survivors of sexual assault in civil lawsuits. We’ve asked him to discuss the legal options available to those who have been sexually assaulted by drivers for Lyft, Uber, and other rideshare services:
Ridesharing services like Lyft and Uber have been making headlines for their issues with sexual assault by drivers. Uber has been sued three times for alleged sexual assaults, including one California lawsuit filed by nine women who say there were assaulted by the company’s drivers in separate incidents. States like California, Texas, Colorado, and Massachusetts have investigated both Uber and Lyft to determine if they have failed to properly screen their drivers.
Because these drivers are often left alone with their customers, it’s imperative to make sure that no predators are allowed to work for the company. When a customer is sexually assaulted by a driver, the company may be held liable if their negligence allowed the assault to occur – such as failure to run a background check.
If you’ve been sexually assaulted by a Lyft or Uber driver, you may have the right to file a lawsuit against the company. You can learn more about your legal options by speaking to an experienced sexual assault victims lawyer.