According to Marie Claire, in 2018, 28-year-old Hannah Tarr was allegedly assaulted by her Lyft driver.
Tarr was extremely drunk and chose to be responsible and take a ride-share home. When she got into the car, she had fallen asleep. Once she arrived in her Chicago Humbolt Park Neighborhood, she recalls telling the driver, “I’m okay. I can walk.” She then walked to her apartment door and unlocked it. After opening her door, she recalls her driver pushing in behind her, grabbing her, kissing her, and pushing in behind her.
Since Tarr had been sexually assaulted in college and had a bad experience with the police, she did not want to involve law enforcement. Instead, she called Lyft to report what happened, and all they said was they would refund her $12 for her ride and never pair with that driver again.
Lyft did not provide any additional information or follow up with Tarr. She is unsure of the whereabouts of that Lyft driver and whether he still works for the company.
Attorney contributor Brian Kent, an experienced sexual assault lawyer, represents victims in civil lawsuits against sexual predators and negligent third parties. Kent shared the below insight on the legal rights of victims of sexual assault in a ride-share by a driver of Uber or Lyft.
Kent began by addressing current ride-share critiques. He said, “Ride-share companies like Uber and Lyft have both come under fire recently after some critics have accused them of failing to protect their customers adequately. Both of these companies have faced lawsuits for their lack of implementing safety.”
Kent concluded with the legal obligation of these companies. He stated, “these ride-share companies have a legal obligation to ensure their drivers are trustworthy and provide a safe environment for their passengers. If a sexual predator is permitted to drive, riders could be put in danger of being assaulted during their rides. Allowing a sexual predator to drive would be considered an act of negligence on behalf of the company. In such cases, the victims may have grounds for a lawsuit against the company.”