Uber has been ordered to pay $ 1.1 million to a blind woman whose drivers have refused to ride with her dog on 14 different occasions.
(Lisa Irving) said: that drivers on some occasions verbally abused her or harassed her about transporting her guide dog in the car, and one of the drivers took her to a different location, claiming that she had reached her destination.
An independent arbitrator ruled that Uber drivers unlawfully discriminated against her because of her condition, and the arbitrator rejected Uber’s claim that the company itself is not responsible, because its drivers have the status of contractors and not employees.
Irving, from San Francisco, said she was concerned for her safety after being stranded multiple times late at night due to being rejected by drivers.
She explained that the canceled trips also led to her delay from work, which contributed to her dismissal from her job, and that the drivers’ behavior continued despite her complaints to Uber.
An Irving spokesperson said: Of all Americans who should be liberated by the ride-sharing revolution, the blind and partially sighted are among those who benefit the most.
He added: Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, a guide dog should be able to go anywhere a blind person could go.
In a statement issued to the media after the ruling, a spokesperson for Uber said: The company is proud of the assistance it provides to blind riders.
The statement added: Drivers who use the Uber app are expected to provide services to riders with service animals and to comply with accessibility and other laws, and we provide regular education to drivers on this liability and our team considers every complaint and takes appropriate action.
This is not the first time that Uber has faced a legal battle from the blind community, as the National Union of the Blind in the United States in 2014 filed a lawsuit against the application of shared transportation over guide dogs regulations.
The case was settled for $ 2.6 million in 2017 when Uber agreed to make sure its drivers know they are legally required to provide service to people who have guide dogs.
Irving said For a newspaper San Francisco Chronicle: I’m sorry that this happened, and I would have preferred that my civil rights be respected, but the lawsuit sends a strong message that this is unacceptable.