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Rape victim sues Uber for unlawfully obtaining her medical records
The anonymous victim says Uber failed to provide any support after its CEO decried the incident.
A rape victim whose medical records were obtained by a top Uber executive filed a lawsuit against the company earlier today. The lawsuit says “Uber executives violated her a second time” by “unlawfully” examining her medical records after the unnamed woman was raped in India in December 2014.
Eric Alexander, Uber’s head of Asia, was fired last week in part because of how he handled the incident. The Uber exec allegedly didn’t believe the woman had been raped, and thought it was a ploy by another ride-hailing competitor to make people question the safety of Uber. The complainant says Alexander went directly to Delhi where he obtained her confidential medical records. He then went on to show the victim’s records to other Uber executives, including CEO Travis Kalanick.
“Alexander, Kalanick and [former SVP of Business Emil] Michael discussed the records among themselves and with other staff at Uber, 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,” the lawsuit reads. “Nothing was further from the truth.”
Kalanick originally decried the incident, posting a powerful statement promising to help the victim recover.
What happened over the weekend in New Delhi is horrific. Our entire team’s hearts go out to the victim of this despicable crime. We will do everything, I repeat, everything to help bring this perpetrator to justice and to support the victim and her family in her recovery.
The victim claims the company did not take any action to support her or make India safer. 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.
The Texas resident previously sued Uber in 2015 for failing to protect female drivers by not adequately screening drivers, and hiring drivers with criminal histories. Shiv Kumar Yadav, the man who raped and beat the plaintiff, had four cases against him including one of molestation, according to the Indian Express.
The woman, who filed the suit as an anonymous Jane Doe, is now suing Uber, Kalanick, Alexander, and Michael, on charges of intrusion into private affairs, public disclosure of private facts, and defaming her character.
“No one should have to go through a horrific experience like this, and we’re truly sorry that she’s had to relive it over the last few weeks,” Uber told the Daily Dot.
You can read the entire lawsuit over at Recode.
H/T Ars Technica
Phillip Tracy is a former technology staff writer at the Daily Dot. He's an expert on smartphones, social media trends, and gadgets. He previously reported on IoT and telecom for RCR Wireless News and contributed to NewBay Media magazine. He now writes for Laptop magazine.