Uber Offered Driver Tiny Payout to Keep Quiet after Carjacking

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Today the Markup published a story documenting Uber offering a driver in Atlanta $1,000 to keep quiet about his car getting carjacked by an Uber customer. They offered him the money on condition that he won’t sue them in the future.

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This is the first ever reporting of the existence of these payment offers to drivers to keep quiet.

Uber Drivers Are Forced To Assume The Risk Of Carjacking

Here’s Gig Workers Rising statement on this:

“Because of Uber’s business model, when drivers accept a ride they are forced to assume all risk - they have no guarantee of safety, no idea if the person they collect will assault them, murder them, rob their car. When something bad inevitably does happen, Uber shirks responsibility leaving drivers and their families on their own to deal with the consequences. We know that Uber tries to cover their tracks by paying off drivers and driver families so that they can avoid a needed reckoning with how dangerous and violent this job can be. Corporations must be held responsible for keeping their workers safe at work, and when something bad does happen, providing safety nets and benefits to make workers and their families whole again. Uber is a multi-billion dollar company - they can afford it. - Shona Clarkson, an organizer with Gig Workers Rising

This story is a follow up from earlier reporting from theMarkup which found over 100 carjackings on Uber and Lyft in the past year or so. The problem is systemic and gig companies continue to do nothing to protect their workers, while seeking to roll out a law to Massachusetts this week robbing drivers of protections which they wrote in California

Paying off drivers to keep quiet is a risky position for these public companies, particularly when there's hundred of carjacking, and possibly hundreds of people murdered while using their services.

A Judge in San Francisco recently stated that Uber does have a duty of care for passengers who book a ride on their app, in response to a lawsuit brought against Uber by the family of a young woman who was let out of an Uber on a highway leading to her dying in a tragic accident.

Tobacco companies ultimately succumbed to a massive $246 billion dollar settlement when courts found they did bear responsibility for the health effects caused by tobacco. This might be the inevitable outcome for company's such as Uber and Lyft who for the longest time have deployed every trick in the book to evade liability for the harm caused on their platform.