By Eddie Hettel
Rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft have consistently pushed back against government efforts to increase the level of scrutiny for their screening processes. Less stringent background checks lead to more drivers on the road and increased profits. However, this comes at the expense of passenger safety. The disturbing frequency of crimes perpetrated against rideshare passengers by their drivers raises questions about the thoroughness of Uber and Lyft’s vetting procedures.
A recent investigation discovered that a man accused of torture and mass executions found full-time employment as a driver for Uber and Lyft. Yusuf Abdi Ali is a former Somali military commander who had been a rideshare driver for 18 months.
A simple internet search of Ali’s name reveals the horrific nature of his alleged crimes committed as a military commander during Somalia’s civil war. These atrocities were also detailed in a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation documentary that presented eyewitness accounts of killings committed under his direction. Ali entered the United States on a visa through his Somali wife who previously became a U.S. citizen. His wife was later found guilty of naturalization fraud.
When asked about the driver application process, Ali stated to CNN reporters, "They just want your background check, that's it…If you apply tonight maybe after two days it will come, you know, everything."
Rideshare companies have approved thousands of people who should have been disqualified because of their criminal records. This is yet another startling example of the danger posed by the inadequate vetting procedures of Uber and Lyft.
At TKK, we are dedicated to protecting the safety of rideshare passengers, and for more than two years, we have been investigating incidents in which rideshare drivers have assaulted or injured passengers. In November 2017, we represented a woman in a lawsuit against Lyft after she was kidnapped and sexually assaulted by a rideshare driver. Despite a record that included multiple criminal charges, the driver who allegedly committed these offenses against our client passed Lyft's screening processes and was allowed to work for the company.
If you have suffered an injury at the hands of a driver for a rideshare company like Uber or Lyft, TKK will provide you with the representation you need. We will help you seek compensation for an assault, robbery, or any other form of harm that was done to you and your family. Contact our Chicago rideshare injury lawyers at 312-605-8800 to arrange a free consultation today.