An Indian woman living in the US, whose Uber driver was convicted for raping her during a ride in Delhi in December 2014, has filed a fresh lawsuit against the company, accusing it of wrongly obtaining her medical records and violating her privacy, reports Reuters. She had earlier sued Uber for failing to meet basic safety requirements. That lawsuit was settled out of court. The terms of the settlement were not disclosed.
Recode reported earlier this month that Uber’s Asia Pacific business head, Eric Alexander, had gotten hold of the victim’s medical records in Delhi during the criminal investigation, and also shown them to the CEO, Travis Kalanick, and senior VP, Emil Michael.
Alexander, whose role came out during investigation by a law firm into sexual harassment in Uber, was sacked. Michael resigned after an Uber board meeting last Sunday that accepted all the recommendations of the law firm which probed management issues at the company. And Kalanick went on indefinite leave to grieve his mother’s death and to “work on Travis 2.0.”
See: Uber chief goes on leave, vows to work on Travis 2.0
The Recode report, which exposed the handling of the rape in Delhi, had said that Kalanick, Michael, and Alexander, after getting the victim’s medical records, “began to raise the prospect that Ola – Uber’s main competitor in India – was behind the incident to sabotage the company.” The victim’s new lawsuit calls out Uber’s “duplicity” in publicly expressing sympathy with the victim, while internally trying to link her with Ola.
“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.
Ola, too, came out with a statement decrying Uber: “It is a shame that the privacy and morals of a woman have to be questioned in an attempt to trivialize a horrific crime. It is despicable that anyone can even conceive an attempt to malign competition using this as an opportunity.”
Uber, meanwhile, again expressed sympathy with the victim: “No one should have to go through a horrific experience like this, and we’re truly sorry that she’s had to relive it over the last few weeks.”
The new lawsuit comes even as the screws tightened on Uber this week in another lawsuit for alleged self-driving tech theft from Google’s Waymo. The judge rejected Uber’s excuses for not producing the documents connected with this.
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