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Uber agrees landmark payouts to two women who reported being sexually assaulted

Two young women have been awarded significant damages by Uber in the first case of its kind in the UK after they claimed they were sexually assaulted by a driver.

The alleged victims, aged in their 20s and 30s, both ordered cabs through the Uber app following separate nights out in Leeds in December 2015.

Each woman went on to file police reports claiming their driver Naveed Iqbal sexually assaulted them by groping their breasts.

A council investigation found Iqbal, who did work as a taxi driver, had used his brother’s Uber login details to access the app and find jobs under his name.

As a result of the incidents the cabbie lost his taxi license but no criminal charges were ever brought against him.

The two women then employed a team of lawyers at Irwin Mitchell, who argued that Uber was liable for the alleged assaults as it had a duty of care to protect passengers. 

In the first case of it’s kind in the UK, Uber have now agreed undisclosed out of court settlements with each woman. MailOnline has contacted Irwin Mithcell for guidance on how much the two women have been awarded.

Two young women have been awarded significant damages by Uber in the first case of its kind in the UK after they claimed they were sexually assaulted by a driver

The two women then employed a team of lawyers at Irwin Mitchell, who argued that Uber was liable for the alleged assaults as it had a duty of care to protect passengers. 

The first woman was celebrating her birthday on the evening of December 6 2015 when she claims to have been groped on the breasts twice.

She said: ‘My whole life has been turned upside down since that night. When it first happened, my initial reaction was anger and disbelief, but I very quickly developed anxiety. 

‘I was aware that the driver knew where I lived and this made me anxious about being at home.

‘I suffered from poor concentration, a lack of enjoyment and poor motivation, and I had this feeling of being dirty all the time.

Each woman went on to file police reports claiming their driver Naveed Iqbal sexually assaulted them by groping their breasts

Each woman went on to file police reports claiming their driver Naveed Iqbal sexually assaulted them by groping their breasts

The alleged victims, aged in their 20s and 30s, both ordered cabs through the Uber app following separate nights out in Leeds (pictured) in December 2015

The alleged victims, aged in their 20s and 30s, both ordered cabs through the Uber app following separate nights out in Leeds (pictured) in December 2015

‘Everything that has happened has also had a huge impact on my career as I no longer have the confidence to work in a customer facing role.

‘I just hope that by speaking out others who may have found themselves in a similar situation don’t feel that they have to suffer in silence.’

In the first case of it's kind in the UK Uber have now agreed undisclosed out of court settlements with each woman

 In the first case of it’s kind in the UK Uber have now agreed undisclosed out of court settlements with each woman

The second woman booked an Uber on December 13 2015 following a night out with friends.

During the journey she told how the driver began rubbing her leg and touching her breasts, before trying to kiss her and attempting to force her to engage in a sex act.

She said: ‘I now find it difficult to trust others and this has hugely affected my friendships and relationships. I have had a lot of personal issues since the assault.

‘That one night has had such a negative impact on my life, and to hear it had happened to another woman a week earlier was horrible.

‘This could have been prevented. I just hope we can now move on with our lives as best we can.’

Emma Crowther, the legal expert representing the women, said: ‘These are deeply upsetting cases involving two young women who reported being sexually assaulted by someone entrusted to get them home safely.

‘It is even more concerning that if Uber had properly investigated the alleged assault suffered by our first client then we believe that the driver would not have been free to go on and pick up the second woman just a week later, during which it is reported he escalated in his abusive behaviour.

‘Both women are still deeply affected by what happened to them. While nothing can ever make up for what has happened we are pleased to have secured these settlements which we believe to be the first of their kind in the UK against Uber.

‘We now hope that the specialist support the women require will help them try and move forward with their lives.’

Sue Pearce MBE, from Rape Crisis, said: ‘It is always distressing and worrying to hear about sexual assaults and especially those committed by someone who works in a position of trust.

‘The trauma of such assaults can have long lasting effects.

An Uber spokeswoman said: ‘There is no place for this kind of behaviour in the Uber community. We take all reports very seriously and investigate thoroughly. 

‘We typically waitlist drivers during investigations and if the allegations prove true, an individual would likely face permanent deactivation. We work closely with the police to assist with any investigation.’ 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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