Uber ordered to pay US $ 1.1 million after blind woman was refused travel more than a dozen times

Uber ordered to pay US $ 1.1 million after blind woman was refused travel more than a dozen times

Uber was ordered to pay US $ 1.1 million after an arbitrator ruled that the drivers of the ride-sharing company discriminated against a blind woman and her guide dog in more on a dozen distinct occasions.

Lisa Irving, a California resident, said she was refused rides or verbally assaulted by drivers 14 times in 2016 and 2018, Irving’s lawyer Adam Wolf told CNN.

“I felt belittled, humiliated, demeaned, embarrassed, angry, frustrated and raped,” Irving said in a video statement.

She was awarded $ 324,000 in damages and more than $ 800,000 in attorney fees and court costs, according to the arbitrator’s decision posted online by her attorneys.

The arbitrator rejected Uber’s argument that it was not responsible for its drivers’ violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) because they are independent contractors.

“Whether its drivers are employees or independent contractors, Uber is nonetheless subject to the ADA because of its contractual relationship with its drivers,” the price said.

A spokesperson for Uber said the company disagreed with the price and said its community guidelines prohibit drivers from denying rides to passengers with service animals.

“We are proud that Uber’s technology has helped blind people get around and miss Ms. Irving’s experience. Drivers using the Uber app are expected to serve passengers with service animals and to comply with accessibility and other laws, and we provide training to drivers on this responsibility on a regular basis. Our dedicated team reviews each complaint and takes appropriate action, ”the company said in a statement.

In addition to being denied rides, Irving said some drivers who came to pick her up became verbally abusive towards her and her service dog Bernie, according to the price.

She alleged that some denied trips caused her to be late for work and “contributed to her separation from her employer,” according to the price.

Irving said she didn’t feel safe because of the behavior of at least one driver, depending on the price.

« [The driver] yelled at her to get out of her car at least fifteen times, at one point she stopped to ask him to get out into a dangerous area, making her feel helpless in the face of his intimidation and threats, “the arbitrator.

Irving has filed complaints against the drivers with Uber, depending on the price.

“Uber is responsible for each of these incidents under the ADA’s DOJ interpretation as well as due to Uber’s contractual oversight over its drivers and its inability to prevent discrimination by properly training its workers.” , indicates the price.

Irving’s lawyers filed a petition to uphold the sentence on Thursday in San Francisco Superior Court, according to a press release.

“Of all the Americans who should be liberated by the carpooling revolution, the blind and visually impaired are among those who will benefit the most. However, the track record of major ridesharing services has been patchy at best and blatantly discriminatory at worst. The Bottom According to US Disability Law, a guide dog should be able to go anywhere a blind person can go, ”Irving’s attorney, Catherine Cabalo, said in a statement.

In 2016, Uber settled a lawsuit filed by the National Federation of the Blind to ensure that passengers accompanied by a guide dog have equal access to transportation.

CNN wire
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