A rape victim’s medical record leads to a lawsuit against Uber

The ride-sharing service is charged with defaming a woman and obtaining her records without authorization.
By Gus Venditto
04:16 PM

A woman’s medical records are at the center of a defamation suit being filed against the ride-sharing service Uber. The company is being charged with obtaining her records without authorization and using them to defend itself against charges that she was raped by an Uber driver.

The woman’s identity has not been disclosed but the Uber driver was convicted of rape in 2015 and is serving a life sentence in India. Her lawyers claim in the suit filed today in California federal court that Uber’s representatives obtained the records in an attempt to deny an assault took place.

The lawsuit alleges that Eric Alexander, president of Uber Asia-Pacific, was able to obtain the medical records “generated by physicians who examined her after her brutal rape.”

The complaint maintains that Alexander then discussed the records with Uber CEO Travis Kalanick and other company executives, “speculating that Plaintiff had made up the brutal rape in collusion with a rival of Uber in India in order to undermine Uber’s business” and that Uber continues to have the records in its possession.

The complaint, prepared by Wigdor LLP, does not indicate how Alexander allegedly obtained the medical records.

Uber’s management has been subject to public scrutiny over a series of misconduct allegations, which have resulted in Kalanick taking a leave of absence. The lawsuit claims the company has perpetuated a rape culture and is violating customer privacy.

This is the second suit filed by the woman who is living in the United States. In 2015 she sued Uber over failing to provide a safe environment; that case was settled.

Twitter: @GusVenditto
Email the writer: gus.venditto@himssmedia.com

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