LOS ANGELES — A 23-year-old disabled woman sued Lyft Thursday, alleging that the ride-hailing platform knew about a sexual assault problem among its drivers for nearly five years before she herself was attacked earlier this year.
The Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit was filed by Cheyenne G., who alleges her Lyft driver assailed her on May 27 when she used the service to get from the grocery store to her house.
The plaintiff is disabled, unable to drive and relies on ride-hailing for her transportation, the suit states.
A Lyft representative did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
The woman works full-time at a major Southern California theme park, the suit states. Because of an aneurysm that happened when she was 12 years old that has required more than a dozen surgeries, she walks with a major limp and is legally blind in one eye, the suit states, making her unable to flee from her attacker.
The lawsuit alleges that the driver offered to help Cheyenne carry her groceries into her house, but after bringing the last bag to her front door, he grabbed the plaintiff’s face and tried to kiss her. The woman pushed him away, but the driver grabbed her wrists and tried to force himself on her, the suit alleges.
She pushed her knees into his stomach as hard as she could and yelled at him to leave, the suit states.
She called Lyft’s emergency hotline and filed a police report, according to the suit. The plaintiff never heard back from Lyft, the suit states.
“Lyft seeks to silence victims who have been sexually assaulted by ignoring their complaints and stonewalling law enforcement,” plaintiff’s attorney Mike Bomberger said.
The lawsuit alleges that Lyft has hidden the number of reported rapes and sexual assaults committed by their drivers and made an effort in the media, in litigation and in criminal cases to conceal how widespread the problem is.
“Lyft has allowed drivers who have been reported to have committed rape and sexual assault to continue driving,” Bomberger said. “This lack of a zero-tolerance policy encourages sexual predators to join its platform.”