The Delhi woman who was raped by an Uber driver, back in December 2014, has once again filed a lawsuit against the company and three of its current and former senior management members, after it was revealed that they had obtained and held onto her medical records for about a year, reports The New York Times. The three senior management members are: CEO Travis Kalanick, who is currently on an extended leave of absence and is expected to play a diminished role at the company once he returns; former APAC head Eric Alexander, who was fired last week for obtaining and sharing the medical records; and SVP of business Emil Michael, who quit in the aftermath of this revelation.
It has been mentioned in the lawsuit that the three senior management members at Uber had believed that the rape allegation in 2014 might have been part of a conspiracy hatched by a competing cab-hailing company in India to derail the company’s progress in the country.
The woman had previously sued Uber for negligence & fraud in the US federal court, since the company’s driver screening and passenger safety policies was formulated in the United States, in January 2015. In April 2015, Uber asked a US district court to dismiss the lawsuit filed by her for negligence & fraud, because the company said it should not be held legally responsible for its driver’s act. For unknown reasons, she withdrew her court case against the company in the United States, in September 2015. In a notice filed in US District Court, Northern District of California, her lawyers submitted that “Plaintiff Jane Doe hereby voluntarily dismisses the above-captioned action against Defendant Uber Technologies with prejudice. Each side shall bear its own costs, expense expenses, and attorneys’ fees.”
In January 2015, the accused Uber driver, Shiv Kumar Yadav, was charged by a Delhi court with rape, kidnapping and criminal intimidation. He was also charged with forgery for obtaining a fake character certificate through which he had secured the driver permit. Eventually, in November 2015, he was found guilty on charges of rape, causing bodily harm and endangering the life of a woman under the Indian Penal Code. He was sentenced to life imprisonment.
Uber internal probe
Earlier this week, Uber made public the recommendations of the law firm Covington & Burling LLP, that was conducting an internal probe of the company regarding allegations of sexual harassment and discrimination. The recommendations included a review and reallocation of CEO Travis Kalanick’s responsibilities, swift identification and appointment of a Chief Operating Officer (COO), greater accountability of the Board and senior management members, and change in HR policies to enable an effective complaint process for employees to escalate issues, and protocols for escalating complaints among several others. More about the recommendations here.