Fort Lee, N.J. woman files lawsuit against Lyft over driver’s conduct

A New Jersey woman is accusing a Lyft driver of sexual assault after he allegedly urinated in front of her during a ride earlier this year, according to a lawsuit filed last month.

The lawsuit, filed June 24 in New York Supreme Court, names the driver, identified only as Luis, and Lyft as defendants in the case. The document claims that the conduct of both parties “was so outrageous, shocking, vile and contemptible that it exceeds reasonable bounds of decency as measured by what the average member of the public would tolerate.”

The woman, a Fort Lee resident identified as Jane Doe (who requested anonymity) in the lawsuit, is seeking a jury trial and compensatory and punitive damages.

According to the lawsuit, a driver picked up the woman to take her from her home to work in New York City shortly after 8 a.m. on March 7. At some point during the ride, the driver urinated into a plastic container on a public road on the west side of Manhattan, the lawsuit said.

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The woman is represented by Thomas P. Giuffra, an attorney with the New York firm Rheingold Giuffra Ruffo Plotkin & Hellman. Neither Giuffra nor Lyft officials responded to requests for comment Tuesday.

The lawsuit claims the driver’s actions caused the woman “physical, mental and emotional injuries,” including humiliation, fear, dissociation, anger, depression and anxiety.

“Upon information and belief, some or all of these injuries are permanent and long-term in nature,” the lawsuit states, “and Plaintiff is and/or will be required to expend sums of money for medical treatment.”

The lawsuit states that Lyft “had a duty to take reasonable steps to protect plaintiff from foreseeable harm” when the woman was a passenger in the defendant’s vehicle. The complaint also claims that the company failed to train its employees and properly implement “sufficient policies and procedures” to prevent promiscuity, disclosure and other types of abuse.