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California Woman Sues Lyft for Alleged 2019 Kidnapping

Published on Apr 22, 2021 at 8:08 am in News.

A woman from Vallejo, California has filed a lawsuit against Lyft over an incident that occurred in April 2021 with a rideshare driver. According to the suit, Gsa Gsa Ward experienced a traumatic ride when her driver attempted to kidnap her. Ward is seeking unspecified damages for Lyft’s failure to protect her and negligent hiring.

It was just after 1:00 a.m. when Ward ordered a Lyft to take her from her home to a nearby convenience store. She assumed taking a Lyft would be safer than walking by herself in the dark, but the trip quickly turned scary when her driver drove off the route and turned down a dark side street.

The Lyft driver, whose name in the app was only given as Rex, said nothing when Ward questioned him about where they were going. Instead, he pulled over on the side street and locked the doors. According to Ward, the driver lowered his sun visor to reveal a crystal meth pipe. Ward attempted to exit the vehicle, but the locks were still on. She lowered the window and was able to climb out, even as the driver attempted to close the window on her. She managed to escape and ran home with her left leg scraped and bruised from the window glass.

In the lawsuit, Ward notes that Lyft refused to give her the driver’s full name and the company allegedly asked her if she had climbed out of the window before the ride was over because she was trying to get away without paying. She also received an email admonishing her for jumping out of the car when it was “in motion,” when she could “simply request that the driver stop and let you out.”

In response to Ward’s lawsuit, Lyft released the following statement: “Since day one, we have designed products and policies that help protect both riders and drivers, and will continue our work to make Lyft an even safer platform for our community.” The company also noted how it uses initial and annual background checks for drivers and has added an emergency help option within the app.

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