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Doe v. Uber Technologies, Inc.
United States District Court for the Northern District of California
184 F. Supp. 3d 774 (2016)
Uber Technologies, Inc. (Uber) (defendant) operated a ride-sharing company since 2010. Users downloaded the smartphone application and used it to schedule transportation requests. Users were paired with an Uber driver who picked up and drove them to their destination. Users paid through the app by credit card, and Uber paid drivers a portion of the fare. Uber hired drivers who submitted applications online and provided a valid driver’s license, vehicle registration, and proof of insurance. Uber then conducted background checks through a third-party company that ran the applicant’s social-security number through a database, capturing information dating back seven years. Uber then chose whether to approve the driver. In 2015, Jane Doe 1 (plaintiff) used the Uber app to arrange transportation back to her home. Abderrahim Dakiri was the Uber driver assigned to the trip. Dakiri picked up Doe 1, and she provided Dakiri with the address of her destination. Instead of driving to the address, Dakiri drove 15 minutes off-route, parked the car in a remote area, and sexually assaulted Doe 1. Doe 1 learned after her assault that Dakiri had only been in the United States for less than three years. Another woman, Jane Doe 2 (plaintiff), made a similar complaint of sexual assault by the Uber driver Patrick Aiello. Doe 1 and Doe 2 filed complaints for negligence and negligent hiring, supervision, and retention; fraud; battery; assault; false imprisonment; and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Uber moved to dismiss the claims for battery, assault, false imprisonment, and intentional infliction of emotional distress for failure to state a claim because the drivers were independent contractors and thus there was no employment relationship.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Illston, J.)
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