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Lyft faces new lawsuit over sexual assault cases

A lawsuit was filed Dec. 4 in the San Francisco Superior Court accusing Lyft Inc. of not doing enough to protect passengers against sexual assault, the Financial Times reported.

The suit, which was filed by law firm Estey & Bomberger on behalf of 19 women that said they have been sexually assaulted or raped while using the ride-hailing service, alleges that the company is unable to monitor its drivers and that its safety standards are insufficient.

The complaint says the drivers targeted intoxicated women and carried alcohol in their vehicles to give to their victims.

The plaintiffs, who are seeking damages for medical treatment and lost earnings, said Lyft has been aware of the alleged sexual misconduct of its drivers but its response has been "appallingly inadequate."

Lyft said it introduced about 15 new safety features, which include monitoring of drivers, continuous background checks and reporting misconduct, the report said.

"This year, nearly one in five employees at Lyft have been dedicated to initiatives that strengthen the platform's safety," a spokeswoman for Lyft told the Financial Times. "Everyone deserves the ability to move about the world safely, yet women still face disproportionate risks. We recognize these risks, which is why we are relentless in our work to build safety into every aspect of our work," she added.

Lyft did not immediately respond to S&P Global Market Intelligence's request for comment.

The new case follows a Sept. 4 suit, which was filed in the San Francisco Superior Court by the same law firm on behalf of at least 14 women, alleging Lyft of inaction on reports of sexual assault that take place during trips.