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Omaha woman sues Lyft over 2019 sexual assault by driver

Published: Oct. 15, 2021 at 5:36 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - An unidentified Omaha woman is suing the ride service Lyft after being sexually assaulted by a driver in May of 2019.

Lyft driver Komlanvi Avitso picked the woman up, kept her in his vehicle for two hours, and sexually assaulted her. Avitso has already been tried, convicted, and sentenced to prison.

Court documents include allegations that Lyft hires nearly every applicant, without an interview, and not even consistently requiring proof of a current and valid driver’s license - all of which they say is inconsistent with Lyft’s marketing of “safety is our top priority.”

Documents also show that, at the time of this incident, Lyft inadequately investigated complaints of sexual harassment, stalking, and sexual assault.

The lawsuit says that as early as 2015, Lyft knew some of its drivers were sexually assaulting users but that they continued to hire drivers without performing adequate background checks.

The unidentified woman is asking for compensatory damages (to include damage to her emotional health) in an amount exceeding $75,000, post-judgment interest at the maximum legal rate, cost of suit incurred herein, punitive damages pursuant to California law, and for such other and further relief as the court deems just and proper.

The lawsuit’s closing argument states that “Lyft knew it had a product that directly and proximately enabled sexual predators to create victims, yet maintained those predators’ access to prospective victims.”

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