"On notice of the magnitude of the number of passengers who have experienced sexual harassment and gender-based violence, Uber should have made drastic changes to the way that it screens and monitors drivers, as well as advancing safety measures on its app and in vehicles, and disclosed the truth to consumers about its insurance coverage during rides", the lawsuit says. Female drivers also said that passengers had sexually harassed them.
The two women say Uber's background checks are inadequate and the company has misrepresented how safe the service actually is.
Reviews of Uber driver applications by two USA states, Maryland and MA, have led to rejections of thousands more applications than under Uber's own system.
The women are requesting damages for their own alleged assaults along with an injunction against the company that would require it to conduct more rigorous background checks on its drivers and change other company practices. Uber settled that suit in November 2016.
The lawsuit describes all the access Uber provides for drivers to commit sexual assault.
The lawsuit claims that by labeling itself as a "technology" company instead of a "transportation" company, that Uber has been able to avoid costlier background checks. The other woman, who lives in Los Angeles, alleges an Uber driver assaulted her while she was asleep in the back seat of his auto and then took her home and raped her.
An Uber spokesperson said: "Uber received this complaint today and we are in the process of reviewing it".
Uber has been beleaguered by dozens of issues over the a year ago.
This lawsuit comes as the ride-hail company is working to revamp its image after a tumultuous year wrought with public scandals. In addition to allegations raised by the plaintiffs and news reports of incidents in various cities and states around the country, the lawsuit cites complaints highlighted over social media through the #MeToo campaign, which raises awareness of sexual harassment and its prevalence in workplaces and other facets of life.
According to the suit, thousands of women have been victimized by Uber drivers since the company's launch in 2010, including cases of "rape, sexual assault, physical violence and gender-motivated harassment".
The plaintiffs in the case call for more transparency from Uber's new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, who recently overhauled the company's values to include: "We do the right thing".