Uber and a woman who sued the ride-hailing company alleging a driver took her unconscious to a North Hollywood motel in 2017 and raped her have settled the lawsuit, an Uber attorney told a judge Tuesday.
The plaintiff was identified only as Jane Doe in the Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit, which was filed in June against Uber Technologies Inc. alleging sexual battery, false imprisonment, battery, civil rights violations and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Uber lawyer Connor Holdsworth told Judge Dennis Landin by speaker phone that the case was resolved. No terms were divulged.
The suit sought unspecified damages and various reforms within Uber, including the implementation of a policy requiring cameras inside Uber vehicles and the placement of a “panic button” on the Uber app alerting the company and police of any unlawful conduct by its drivers.
Uber spokesman Andrew Hasbun previously released a statement regarding the complaint that read, in part: “What the rider reported to police is horrifying and has no place anywhere in our society. Our hearts are with the victim.”
The driver lost his Uber driving privileges in June 2017 when the alleged crime was reported and the company worked closely with police, Hasbun said. He also noted that Uber has strengthened its safety approach with new features, including an emergency button, driver-screening improvements and the addition of the former Secretary of Homeland Security to head up Uber’s Safety Advisory Board.
According to the lawsuit, Doe attended a work function in downtown Los Angeles and summoned an Uber driver on June 23, 2017, to take her to her boyfriend’s West Hollywood home because she had been drinking.
The plaintiff alleged that the driver took her toward her destination and administered a date-rape drug or something similar to render her unconscious. Once they reached the woman’s destination, the driver then continued to the Ritz Motel in North Hollywood, where he carried the still- unconscious woman into a room and raped her, according to the lawsuit.
The driver left the woman and she awoke later dazed and confused in a strange room wearing only a shirt, the suit stated.
“Plaintiff realized that she had been sexually assaulted when she found two used condoms in the motel room,” the complaint alleged.
The driver, Alaric Spence, is awaiting trial on charges including kidnapping and rape of an unconscious person.