New lawsuit claims Uber drivers denied service to woman with cerebral palsy

New lawsuit claims Uber drivers denied service to woman with cerebral palsy

The lawsuits just don’t stop coming, do they? It appears that Uber is being accused of its drivers denying rides to a Texas woman with cerebral palsy on “approximately 25 separate occasions” across 2016 and 2017, according to a new lawsuit that was filed today.

The Texas woman claims that Uber drivers repeatedly cancelled rides for her because she requires the assistance of a service dog. D’Edra Steele, the plaintiff, provides details to a number of instances in which she was allegedly denied service by Uber drivers in the lawsuit. Many of those claims seem to revolve around Uber drivers refusing to provide service to her and canceling the rides she requested only after finding out that she uses a service dog. Per lawsuit details, she relies on a service dog named Goodee in order to walk and maintain her balance.

To deny service to the plaintiff, Uber drivers used excuses such as allergies, lack of protective seat covering, or just not wanting to clean up dog hair as reasons for not wanting to provide rides to her, Steele alleges in the complaint. In certain instances, these cancelations apparently left Steele stranded without a ride to or from grocery stores. In one specific situation, this caused her to be late to her own family’s Thanksgiving celebration.

Per Uber’s community guidelines, the company lists that it has “zero tolerance policy” for discrimination “of any kind” by riders and drivers. Taking a look at Uber’s accessibility policy, it states that drivers aren’t allowed to deny rides because of service animals in any circumstances. “Driver-partners have a legal obligation to provide service to riders with service animals,” the service animal section reads. “A driver-partner CANNOT lawfully deny service to riders with service animals because of allergies, religious objections, or a generalized fear of animals.”

Filed in Northern California District Court, the complaint is accusing Uber of violating the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Texas Human Resources Code. The plaintiff is seeking damages for “intentional infliction of emotional distress.”

Hamza Khalid

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