The woman who was raped by an Uber driver in New Delhi, India, is suing the ride-hailing company after reports that several of its executives obtained and shared her medical records. She said the execs had “violated her a second time” through their actions.
Earlier this month, it was reported that Uber’s Asia-Pacific President, Eric Alexander, had somehow obtained the medical records of the woman raped by Shiv Kumar Yadav in 2014 and showed them to CEO Travis Kalanick and senior business VP Emil Michael.
While the company publicly supported the woman and settled a lawsuit with her out of court, the three execs reportedly questioned her story, believing the incident may have been staged by India-based rival Ola to make Uber look bad.
Alexander was terminated after reporters started asking questions about the records, and Michael resigned following an investigation into sexual harassment at the company. Kalanick, meanwhile, is on an indefinite leave of absence.
The anonymous victim, who relocated to Texas in 2016, has filed a new lawsuit against Uber, Alexander, Michael, and Kalanick in a federal court in the Northern District of California.
In documents submitted to the court, the plaintiff’s lawyers wrote: “Kalanick, Eric Alexander, Uber's then-Vice President for Business in Asia and Emil Michael, Uber's then-Senior Vice President for Business, bought into the narrative of rape denialism which focuses on whether a victim had been drinking, what she was wearing, or whether she knew the alleged rapist, rather than on the very real physical, emotional and financial toll that rape takes on a victim.”
“By focusing on "whether she was really raped at all," and painting Plaintiff as an opportunist and a liar, Defendants seemed to be assuring themselves that the only reason why a woman would report a sexual assault is for personal gain, rather than to prevent similar crimes from occurring again or to right an injustice.”
It’s unclear how Alexander obtained the medical records. The lawsuit claims Uber still holds a copy of the files.
Uber has never had the best public image, but this year has seen the company hit by one scandal after another. When asked about the latest lawsuit, a spokesperson said: "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."