Uber has asked a US court to dismiss a lawsuit filed by an alleged rape victim in the Indian capital New Delhi, Reuters reports. The company says it should not be held legally responsible for the driver’s acts.
The passenger in the case, who reported that she was raped and beaten after hailing an Uber ride in early December, sued the service in US federal court in January, claiming its safety procedures were insufficient.
Following a ban in New Delhi, Uber introduced a panic button and increased background checks for drivers in the country. However, it’s going all out to deny any connection between it and the alleged assailant.
In its filing, Uber says the court should dismiss the lawsuit because the alleged victim has sued the wrong party:
“While Plaintiff undoubtedly can state a claim against her alleged assailant, she cannot state a claim against Uber US, which is the wrong party. Nor does California law govern a dispute involving an alleged wrong committed by one Indian citizen against another Indian citizen, in India.”
The company’s argument is that the alleged assailant’s contract was with Uber B.V., a Netherlands-based entity with no US operations. It seems to be on fairly safe legal ground and that’s precisely why it’s set up its corporate structure that way – the US parent company is sheltered from potential overseas liabilities.
Take a close look at Uber’s terms of service and you’ll also find it’s pretty clear that it takes no responsibility for the actions of the drivers on its platform:
“Uber does not guarantee the suitability, safety or ability of third party providers. It is solely your responsibility to determine if a third party provider will meet your needs and expectations. Uber will not participate in disputes between you and a third party provider. By using the services, you acknowledge that you may be exposed to situations involving third party providers that are potentially unsafe, offensive, harmful to minors, or otherwise objectionable, and that use of third party providers arranged or scheduled using the services is at your own risk and judgement.”
So there you have it, a bad Uber driver is your problem.