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Alleged Rape Victim in India Pulls Uber Lawsuit

But Uber is still suffering from the loss of public trust.

Jason Del Rey

The woman who was allegedly raped by her Uber driver in India has pulled her lawsuit, according to a recent court filing.

If she settled, the terms weren’t disclosed in the document. The last line of the filing said, “Each side shall bear its own costs, expenses, and attorneys’ fees.” Both Uber and the lawyer for the victim declined to provide more information for this story.

Whether a settlement or a voluntary withdrawal, the move closes the civil litigation chapter of the case, which quickly became the biggest blow to Uber’s reputation to date in India. The alleged attack was harrowing, with the victim saying she was beaten by her driver in addition to being raped.

The incident made international news and cast a light on Uber’s background check practices in the country, which relied on police reports that are often faked. The company has since strengthened the way it vets its drivers, introducing multiple layers of checks, like address verification and criminal court searches, to prevent future forgeries.

But from the company’s business perspective, the damage was done. India-based investors and users have told me that after that incident the biggest challenge for the ride-hailing company is earning people’s trust.

The rape case has become the peg on which concerns rest. One Indian man I met on an Uber ride who was visiting the United States told me, “Everyone was scared off Uber when that happened. But I think it won’t hurt it in the long run — it’s a better product than [rival service] Ola.”

Uber has recently committed $1 billion to its India market and has started raising funds from India-based organizations like the Bennett Coleman media group and the Tata financial and automotive conglomerate. It may have an uphill battle to win back the public’s trust, but the shelving of this lawsuit is the first step.

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