- Anindito Mukherjee/Reuters
The woman who was raped by an Uber driver in India in 2014 is now suing the company, alleging executives there mishandled her medical records.
In a case filed Thursday in the Northern District Court of California, the woman, identified only as Jane Doe, is suing Uber for defamation, intrusion of privacy, and public disclosure of private facts.
Uber last week fired Eric Alexander, who headed up its business in Asia, following press reports that he had been carrying around the victim’s medical records for a year after the rape and had shown them to other top executives. Uber’s top executives, including CEO Travis Kalanick, not only looked at the records, but pointed to them while internally questioning whether the rape occurred, according to a report in Recode. The executives also speculated that one of Uber’s rivals in India could have been using the report of the rape to undermine the company there.
“Rape denial is just another form of the toxic gender discrimination that is endemic at Uber and ingrained in its culture,” said Douglas Wigdor, the lawyer representing the woman, in a statement to the New York Times.
The rape happened in December 2014 in Delhi, after the woman dozed off during a ride. Company officials publicly decried the attack, but behind the scenes, were expressing doubts.
Alexander obtained the victim’s medical records and showed them to both Kalanick and Emil Michael, the company’s VP of business, according to Recode. Alexander continued to carry the records around until other executives obtained a copy of them and destroyed Alexander’s copy of the records, Recode reported.
It’s unclear how Alexander obtained the medical records. Photos online show that Alexander was in Delhi in December 2014 for multiple days of police questioning.
The woman’s lawsuit not only names Uber but also Kalanick, Michael, and Alexander. Both Alexander and Michael have left Uber in the last two weeks. Kalanick, meanwhile, is on a leave of absence.
“No one should have to go through a horrific experience like this, and we’re truly sorry that she’s had to relive it over the last few weeks,” an Uber spokesperson said.
Uber in 2015 settled a previous lawsuit filed by the woman.