Winnipeg woman launches proposed class-action lawsuit against Uber Canada

A proposed class-action lawsuit has been filed by a Winnipeg woman against Uber Canada after she said she was sexually assaulted by a driver in December 2023.

An Ontario-based law firm – Consumer Law Group – filed the lawsuit on behalf of the woman, who is listed as C.K. in the statement of claim, in Manitoba’s Court of King’s Bench on March 15, 2024.

The lawsuit claims negligence on Uber Canada’s behalf.

C.K. claims in the lawsuit documents that she was assaulted after taking an Uber on Dec. 3, 2023. She alleges she ordered a ride through the Uber app around 4:03 a.m. and receipts from her app show the ride started at 4:05 a.m.

The lawsuit also claims the ride ended at 4:29 a.m. when it arrived at C.K.’s home.

C.K. claims she had fallen asleep during the ride and woke up when she arrived. She alleged the driver got out of the vehicle, put himself in front of the passenger door and blocked her from exiting.

The suit claims the driver grabbed her and forced himself on her by kissing her and only left her alone after she started screaming.

C.K. claimed she reported the incident to police later that day and that the driver was arrested.

CTV News has reached out to Winnipeg police for comment.

Following the alleged incident, C.K. claims she has suffered emotional, physical and psychological harm and has had to deal with stress and anxiety.

Uber Canada and a number of subsidiaries of Uber Canada have yet to file a statement of defence.

A spokesperson for Uber Canada said the company couldn’t comment on the proposed lawsuit, but noted safety is a key component of the company’s platform.

“Which is why we take the utmost care to make sure we follow processes set out by the law,” the spokesperson said in an email to CTV News.

“In Manitoba, a driver must complete a Police Background Check with Vulnerable Sector Search and a Child Abuse Registry application before starting to drive with Uber. A driver is also screened for their driving record. All screenings are required to be completed annually to maintain platform access.”

The lawsuit claims Uber Canada is negligent in providing safety for passengers and doesn’t have appropriate measures in place.

“The Defendants opted to instead circumvent the existing industry’s basic protections in order to fuel rapid growth and to monetize hitchhiking,” the claim reads.

If this class-action lawsuit is certified, anyone who claims to have been sexually assaulted, harassed or had to deal with other misconduct, can join the suit.

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