FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, November 2, 2020
Razavi Law Group, APC
Santa Ana, CA
Contact: Borna Bandari, Esq.
Razavi Law Group Files a Civil Complaint in San Francisco Superior Court to Correct Uber’s Collision Course with Sexual Assault on the Eve of California’s Proposition 22 Vote
San Francisco, California — Uber’s hiring practices and the assumed safety of women passengers using the rideshare app is the focus of a far-reaching civil complaint. The complaint alleges, among other claims, negligent hiring and supervision, intentional misrepresentation, sexual battery, and false imprisonment. The lawsuit was filed this morning in the Superior Court of San Francisco. The lawsuit seeks justice for an unnamed passenger—who was en route to work via the rideshare giant—when she was brutally targeted in an early morning sexual assault at the hands of an Uber driver on September 9th.
The Santa Ana Police Department (SAPD) arrested, Jason Humberto Rodas, 30 of Garden Grove, the same day, and charged him for kidnap to commit robbery and assault with the intent to rape with a million-dollar bond.
“Uber has a business model built on exploitation from the driver’s seat to the back seat. Rider safety was long ago tossed out of the window along with workers’ rights. This comes as a result of lax background checks, insufficient utilization of technology, and the desire to protect the bottom-line instead of their passenger’s safety,” says Borna Bandari, a lawyer from the Orange County-based Razavi Law Group, who filed the lawsuit. “It’s been a long time coming for Uber to be held accountable. Something that will be made increasingly more difficult if Proposition 22 becomes law.”
A press release from SAPD alleges Rodas told the 51-year-old woman passenger during the dangerous 4:00 am trip he would not charge her for the ride. Rodas then began to ask her questions about her sex life. He drove erratically and threatened physical harm if she called for help.
In fear of her safety, Jane Doe “jumped out of the vehicle and attempted to escape but Rodas quickly caught her.” It was then that “Rodas placed the victim in a chokehold and strangled her before sexually assaulting her” alleges the SAPD press release.
As a result of Uber’s suspect hiring process and misleading marketing, the civil lawsuit filed by Razavi Law Group claims:
“The deceitful marketing campaign employed by Uber’s top Executives and Managers made no mention of the inherent dangers of using their rideshare platform. Instead, Uber’s Executives and Managing Officers allocated significant expenditures towards marketing, rather than implementing the most basic safety standards. Uber continues to refuse the use of fingerprint background checks which trace back further than the 7 years Uber allegedly monitors.”
Uber has a history of failing to properly screen driver applicants and is taking minimal steps towards a safer future for all passengers, especially women. A situation that will only worsen with the passing of Proposition 22.
“The political influence of Uber and its allies in the gig economy already has far too much political power. The proof is evident in the refusal to comply with court decisions and Assembly Bill 5, and the self-funded rise of Proposition 22,” says Borna Bandari. “Uber has one foot in the frontier of technology, and the other foot in the backwoods of women’s rights, which needs to be resolved with urgency. Including the right of women to travel alone any time of the day without the fear of sexual assault. We look forward to doing our part in creating a safer environment for generations to come.”
SAPD believes Rodas may have committed other crimes due to his actions. Detectives are asking for anyone with information to contact Detective Julio Gallardo at 714-245-8378.
Rodas has a pre-trial settlement conference and bail hearing for his sexual assault criminal charges on Nov. 13th in Orange County, where he remains in custody.