Published: Sat, June 17, 2017
Research | By Jennifer Evans

New Delhi woman sues Uber, says execs portrayed her as liar

New Delhi woman sues Uber, says execs portrayed her as liar

Also on Tuesday, Uber founder and CEO Travis Kalanick accepted responsibility for the company's state and told employees that he'd be taking an indefinite leave of absence.

Alexander was named as a defendant in the litigation, along with Uber chief executive Travis Kalanick and former senior vice president Emil Michael, according to a copy of the court filing posted online by Wigdor law group representing the woman.

The exit of Uber's president of business for Asia Pacific Eric Alexander, who was deeply involved with setting up Uber in India, may have been linked to obtaining the medical records of the woman raped in an Uber cab in New Delhi in December 2014.

The woman had filed a lawsuit in January 2015 against Uber arguing that the company did not adequately screen its drivers and its "negligence and fraud" lead to her being sexually assaulted and humiliated.

If you ask us to explain Uber's situation, we will say, the company is now on a bed of nails, very sharp nails.

At that time, Travis Kalanick responded with the following statement: "What happened over the weekend in New Delhi is horrific".

The complaint, prepared by Wigdor LLP, does not indicate how Alexander allegedly obtained the medical records. The group reportedly speculated that the victim was a part of a conspiracy being conducted by Uber's Indian rival, Ola.

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick announced he would take an indefinite leave of absence this week

It is for the second time that the woman has sued Uber.

Doe, who alleges intrusion into private affairs, public disclosure of private facts and defamation, is seeking a court order forbidding future misconduct by the company as well as monetary damages. Kalanick's leave of absence follows a day-long board meeting on Sunday during which members of Uber's board of directors discussed the possibility of temporarily stepping away from the company. And on Monday, Michael also announced that he had left the company, joining some two dozen others who have resigned or been laid off as a result of investigations into Uber's corporate culture and allegations of harassment. Instead, the top executives bought into "rape denialism", which focuses on whether a victim "had been drinking, what she was wearing, or whether she knew the alleged rapist, rather than on the real physical, emotional, and financial toll that rape takes on a victim", according to the lawsuit.

Alexander showed the medical records to Kalanick and Michael, a close aide of the chief executive.

The complaint also notes that Alexander met with Delhi police just a few days after the attack to obtain the rape victim's confidential medical records.

The Indian woman and now lives in the United States, sued Uber in 2015 alleging that the company had not established sufficient safety standards.

The lawsuit is the latest blow for Uber, which has endured a string of scandals in the last few months.

"Uber's goal of dominating and controlling the emerging ride-hailing market at the expense of a healthy workplace culture free of unlawful invasions of privacy and discrimination is a calculated decision made by senior executives that continues through the present", Doe claims in the complaint.

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