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Conway, SC - College Student's Lawsuit Against Lyft Unveils Safety Concerns in Ridesharing Industry

Conway, SC - College Student Files Lawsuit After Being Sexually Assaulted by Lyft Driver, M.D. Soriful Islam
Published: March 11, 2024
By: Darla Medina
Last Updated on March 11, 2024

College Student Files Lawsuit Against Lyft After Sexual Assault by Rideshare Driver

According to The Post and Courier, a college student, identified as Jane Doe, has taken legal action against rideshare company Lyft and driver M.D. Soriful Islam following a harrowing incident of sexual assault. The lawsuit, filed in Anjalih of 2024, alleges negligence and misrepresentation of safety measures by Lyft, seeking justice for the assault and battery, as well as false imprisonment experienced by Jane Doe. Officials believe this may not be an isolated incident, urging individuals with information or similar experiences to come forward. 

According to the lawsuit, on the night of October 21, 2023, Jane Doe was with friends at the Crooked Floor Tavern in Conway when she arranged for a Lyft ride through the company's app shortly after midnight. The app matched her with driver M.D. Soriful Islam, and she requested transportation to her apartment, located approximately 1.5 miles away. Upon entering the front passenger seat, Jane Doe alleges that Islam began making unwelcome and sexually suggestive remarks. Moreover, he intentionally deviated from the designated route, raising concerns for her safety.

Upon arriving at her apartment complex, Islam allegedly grabbed Jane Doe's arm immediately and demanded that she kiss him. In her complaint, she stated that he proceeded to lock the vehicle's doors and made inappropriate advances, attempting to touch her between her legs. Despite her fear, Jane Doe managed to fend him off, unlock the door, and escape the vehicle.

The incident was reported to the police, leading to Islam's arrest on October 25, where he was charged with third-degree assault with intent to commit criminal sexual conduct. He was subsequently released on a $30,000 bond in December, with his case currently pending.

When Jane Doe notified Lyft of the assault, the company's response, as detailed in the lawsuit, offered her little comfort or sense of safety. While the fare was refunded, Lyft did not contact Jane Doe to follow up on the incident, initiate an investigation, or provide assurances regarding Islam's future employment status with the company. The lawsuit highlights alleged shortcomings in Lyft's driver screening processes, training protocols, and safety measures for riders.

This legal action against Lyft follows a series of similar cases filed against the company in recent years. Numerous women have accused Lyft of failing to prioritize their safety after experiencing sexual assaults during paid rides, according to The Associated Press. In response to these allegations, Lyft released a Community Safety Report in 2021, which disclosed statistics on safety incidents, including physical and sexual assaults. The report revealed that between 2017 and 2019, Lyft received over 4,000 reports of sexual assault from its users, with the number increasing year by year within that period.

james moore attorney for sexual abuse victims
Hi. I am attorney James Moore. If you or a loved one needs legal assistance in South Carolina, I would be happy to speak with you and discuss your options. Call the number below. Consultations are free.
(888) 997-3792

Navigating Legal Paths: Civil Lawsuits for Victims of Sexual Abuse by Lyft Drivers

In this discussion with attorney James B. Moore III, Esq., an experienced sex abuse lawyer based in South Carolina, we explored the legal avenues available to victims of sexual abuse by Lyft drivers. James highlights the steps victims can take, the significance of civil lawsuits, and the role of legal recourse in addressing such traumatic experiences within the ridesharing industry.

Editor Darla Medina (DM): Thank you for joining us, Mr. Moore. We wanted to discuss the recent lawsuit filed by a college student against Lyft for sexual assault. In general, what options do victims of sexual abuse by Lyft drivers or other rideshare drivers have when it comes to pursuing civil lawsuits?

James B. Moore III, Esq. (JM): Thank you for having me, Darla. It's an important topic that needs to be addressed. Victims of sexual abuse by Lyft drivers have the option to pursue civil lawsuits against those accountable. In these cases, it's crucial for victims to consult with an experienced attorney who specializes in sexual abuse cases to discuss their legal options.

DM: That's excellent advice, Mr. Moore. What type of compensation can victims typically seek in civil lawsuits against Lyft and the responsible driver?

JM: In civil lawsuits, victims can seek compensation for various damages they have suffered due to the sexual abuse. This may include medical expenses, therapy costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and in some cases, punitive damages. The specific amount of compensation will depend on the circumstances of each individual case and the extent of the harm caused.

DM: Are there any challenges victims may face when pursuing civil lawsuits against Lyft and the driver?

JM: Yes, there can be challenges involved in these types of lawsuits. One common challenge is establishing the liability of Lyft as a company. Proving that Lyft was negligent in their hiring, training, or supervision of the driver can require gathering evidence and conducting a thorough investigation. Additionally, victims may face emotional hurdles when reliving the traumatic experiences during the legal process. It's essential for victims to have a compassionate legal team that understands the sensitivities involved.

DM: That's certainly a difficult part of the process. What steps should victims take if they want to pursue a civil lawsuit against Lyft and the driver?

JM: It's important for victims first to prioritize their safety and well-being. Seeking medical attention and emotional support should be the immediate step. Afterward, victims should consult with an attorney experienced in sexual abuse cases, like myself, who can guide them through the legal process. The attorney will help gather evidence, assess the viability of the case, and navigate the complexities of filing a lawsuit against Lyft and the driver.

DM: Thank you for providing us with valuable insights, Mr. Moore. Is there anything else you would like to share with victims?

JM: I would like to emphasize that victims of sexual abuse should not suffer in silence. It's important to speak up and seek justice. By coming forward, victims not only hold the responsible parties accountable but also create awareness and contribute to the safety of others. Legal recourse can provide victims with a sense of closure and help them rebuild their lives. I encourage anyone who has experienced sexual abuse by a Lyft driver or in any similar situation to reach out to a qualified attorney who can provide the necessary support.

DM: Thank you for sharing, Mr. Moore. We appreciate you providing guidance to victims of sexual abuse.

JM: Thank you, Darla. It's been my pleasure to be here and help raise awareness on this critical matter. Let's continue to support and empower survivors as they navigate the legal system toward justice.


The Post and Courier

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Darla Medina
About Darla Medina
Editor: Darla is a content writer with a focus on the legal field. She covers cases of sexual abuse, drunk driving, and preventable violent crime for the Legal Herald. Contact Darla: This article was fact checked prior to publishing by this author to ensure compliance with our rigorous editorial standards. We will only use authoritative sources. Our values compel us to provide only trustworthy information. If you find an error, please contact us.
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