Uber agrees to settle US lawsuit filed by India rape victim

The woman accused the transportation company of improperly obtaining her medical records

Dan Levine,Heather Somerville
Saturday 09 December 2017 13:24
Comments
Policemen escort driver Shiv Kumar Yadav (3rd right in black jacket), who has since been convicted of rape
Policemen escort driver Shiv Kumar Yadav (3rd right in black jacket), who has since been convicted of rape

Uber and a woman who accused top executives of improperly obtaining her medical records after a company driver raped her in India have agreed to settle a civil lawsuit the woman filed against Uber in June, according to a US federal court filing on Friday.

The Uber driver was convicted of the rape, which occurred in Delhi in 2014, in a criminal case in India. He was sentenced in 2015 to life in prison.

The Indian woman had previously settled a civil US lawsuit against Uber in 2015, but sued the company again in a San Francisco federal court saying that shortly after the incident, a US Uber executive "met with Delhi police and intentionally obtained plaintiff's confidential medical records." Uber kept a copy of those records, the lawsuit said.

The woman was living in the US when she filed the lawsuit.

Terms of the settlement were not disclosed in the court document. A spokesman for San Francisco based Uber declined to comment. An attorney for the woman could not immediately be reached for comment.

The settlement comes as new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, who took the top job in August, is seeking to put several scandals behind the company following eight years of CEO Travis Kalanick's pugnacious leadership, which led to rule-breaking around the world.

The lawsuit cited several media reports that said Mr Kalanick and others doubted the victim's account of her ordeal.

"Uber executives duplicitously and publicly decried the rape, expressing sympathy for plaintiff, and shock and regret at the violent attack, while privately speculating, as outlandish as it is, that she had colluded with a rival company to harm Uber's business," the lawsuit said.

A source with knowledge of the matter previously told Reuters that Mr Kalanick had told other Uber executives he believed the incident had been staged by Indian ride-services rival Ola.

In a prior statement, while Mr Kalanick was CEO, Uber said: "No one should have to go through a horrific experience like this, and we're truly sorry that she's had to relive it."

A spokesman for Mr Kalanick was not immediately available for comment on Friday.

Uber's actions have led to a criminal probe by the US Department of Justice of whether managers violated US bribery laws, specifically the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the company said in June.

The Justice Department did not say on what country or countries the investigation centred on. Bloomberg said it focused on activity in at least five Asian countries. Uber has also notified US authorities about payments made by Uber staff to police officers in Indonesia, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Uber previously hired law firm O'Melveny & Myers LLP to investigate how it obtained the medical records of the rape victim, Reuters reported in June.

Reuters

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in