First-Ever Sexual Assault MDL Could Soon Be Largest Sexual Assault Litigation Ever, With 10,000+ Reported Rape/Sexual Assault Allegations Gathered for Consolidation in Federal Court.

SAN FRANCISCO – Attorneys for Uber sexual assault and rape survivors across the country filed a master complaint in the Uber Passenger Sexual Assault Multi-District Litigation (MDL). The MDL was ordered in October so the over 10,000 Uber passengers who reported rapes or sexual assaults would have an opportunity to seek justice. Hundreds of lawsuits already have been consolidated in the MDL. Plaintiffs seek compensatory and punitive damages, as well as injunctive relief to force Uber to change its practices.

The master complaint was filed in U.S District Court, Northern District of California, San Francisco Division, by co-lead attorneys Rachel Abrams at Peiffer Wolf Carr Kane Conway & Wise (Peiffer Wolf), Sarah London at Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein (Lieff Cabraser),

and Roopal Luhana at Chaffin Luhana. As part of their duties in leadership of the Uber sexual assault litigation, co-lead counsel filed the long-form complaint to define the scope of common discovery in the case, permitting the Court to address certain common legal issues and setting forth the potential claims that individual plaintiffs are expected to assert against Uber Technologies and related entities.

An appendix to the complaint also was filed, which cites several specific examples of Uber advertisements pertinent to the lawsuit that marketed the rideshare service as a safe transportation option for young women.

Rachel Abrams, partner at Peiffer Wolf and co-lead attorney for the plaintiffs, said: “Uber’s own data proves that – contrary to its marketing – it’s not a safe platform for women, and it has never taken sexual assault seriously. Over the past decade, as Uber was receiving thousands of rape and sexual assault reports each year, at the same time it was blasting out ads aimed at young women that they should trust Uber with their safety.”

Roopal Luhana, Founder and Partner at Chaffin Luhana and co-lead attorney for the plaintiffs, said: “Every day, Uber passengers are being sexually assaulted. That’s not hyperbole, it’s simple math. Uber has known about this crisis since 2014 at least, and in the 10 years since over 10,000 rapes and sexual assaults have reported. Not even counting the significant percentage of assaults that statistically go unreported, we’re talking about a truly unimaginable amount of violence.”

Sarah R. London, partner at Lieff Cabraser and co-lead attorney for the plaintiffs, said: “No one should suffer unwanted sexual advances or any kind of assault, especially not in the restricted and remote space of a rideshare vehicle. These women trusted Uber’s representations about safety and paid a horrific price for that woefully misplaced trust.”

The latest development follows Uber’s failed stay request earlier this month, in which the company’s attorneys “struggled” to convince the judge for a 60-day pause. In November, an unusual Uber petition to throw out the MDL also failed, with one expert opining at the time, “I just am at a loss to understand that they think they have any chance of success.”

Notably, the three plaintiff co-lead attorneys in the Uber Passenger Sexual Assault MDL are the first-ever all-female co-leadership in an MDL, and the only majority female leadership teams in the country. On December 5, 2023, Judge Charles R. Breyer of the Northern District of California issued an order in the MDL establishing the plaintiffs’ leadership in the case.


Uber has been aware since 2014 that drivers were physically assaulting, sexually assaulting, and raping passengers. The company’s response has been slow and inadequate. While Uber has publicly acknowledged this sexual-assault crisis—including the publication of Uber’s U.S. Safety Report in December 2019—Uber has failed to implement basic safety measures necessary to prevent serious sexual and/or physical assaults. Uber has not released any sexual-assault data for 2021 or 2022. Uber’s decision to withhold that data prevents passengers and the public from understanding the true rate at which such assaults are still occurring.

Safe Rides Fee

In 2014, Uber started charging Uber passengers an extra $1 for a “Safe Rides Fee” for each trip. When Uber announced the “Safe Rides Fee,” it told the public that the fee “supports our continued efforts to ensure the safest possible platform for Uber riders and drivers, including an industry-leading background check process, regular motor vehicle checks, driver safety education, development of safety features in the app, and insurance.” Uber collected its “Safe Rides Fee” and made hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue. Uber did not use this money for passenger safety but instead pocketed the money for its own profits at the cost of passenger safety.

Marketing to Young Women

On a “Women’s Safety” page on its website, Uber advertised that it was “driving change for women’s safety,” specifically representing that “sexual assault and gender-based violence don’t belong anywhere in our communities, which is why Uber is committed to help stop incidents before they happen” and touting its “safety features and education” and “transparency.” Through such representations, and as the company grapples with tens of thousands of ongoing rape and sexual assaults being reported, Uber continues to encourage women to trust its services to secure safe transportation.

Uber Refused to Implement Any Available Solutions

Despite being aware of the thousands of incidents of sexual and physical assault, Uber has yet to mandate the following safety measures: in-vehicle surveillance (audio and video); extensive background checks, including fingerprinting; driver training on interactions with passengers; sexual harassment education and training; a zero-tolerance policy for drivers who deviate from expected behavior and protocols mandating immediate termination; creation and institution of a system encouraging customer reporting and reporting to local authorities; and adequate monitoring of customer complaints by well-trained and effective customer-service representatives.



Max Karlin at (703) 276-3255 or

Peiffer Wolf Carr Kane Conway & Wise is a national law firm with offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, New Orleans, Cleveland, Youngstown, Detroit and St. Louis. Visit for more information.

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Chaffin Luhana LLP is a plaintiffs-only national trial firm focused on representing injured survivors and their families in catastrophic and complex cases. Started by former federal prosecutors Eric Chaffin and Roopal Luhana, the firm is comprised of former state and federal prosecutors, former large defense firm attorneys, former judicial law clerks, and caring and compassionate staff including an in-house social worker. For more information, please visit

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Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein is one of the country’s largest and most successful firms exclusively representing plaintiffs in civil litigation, having secured verdicts or settlements worth over $124 billion for clients nationwide. With over 100 attorneys, the firm has led some of the most significant litigation of the last decade. For more information, go to

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