Uber Faces Discrimination Lawsuit For Allegedly Mistreating Blind Riders

Apr 21, 2015 10:14 AM EDT | Matt Mercuro

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A judge in California ruled that ride-sharing service Uber will face charges that it discriminated against blind riders after trying to get the case dismissed.

One of the plaintiffs in the case, the National Federation of the Blind in California, obtained nearly 40 instances in which blind riders were told by Uber drivers that they could not bring their service animal inside their vehicle, according to Reuters.

Uber responded to U.S. Magistrate Judge Nathanael Cousins' decision on Monday.

"The Uber app is built to expand access to transportation options for all, including users with visual impairments and other disabilities," Uber said in a statement to Reuters.

The plaintiffs argued in court that Uber is required by law to make sure equal access is provided to those who need assistance from service animals. Uber drivers have apparently been doing a bad job of that as of late.

Two separate examples were cited in a lawsuit against Uber where drivers supposedly mistreated blind riders.

The first instance claimed that two blind passengers with service animals were cursed at by an Uber driver who refused to let their dogs inside his vehicle.

The second example mentioned in the suit said that a driver put a blind woman's dog in the trunk of his vehicle and refused to pull over when she realized where the dog was, according to the lawsuit filed in California.

"Uber is a very popular service, and it is important for riders with service animals to be able to use it like anyone else," Aaron Zisser, a lawyer for Disability Rights Advocates in Berkeley, California, said to Reuters.

The San Francisco-based company now has 14 days to officially respond to the complaint.

Uber offers its taxi-hailing services in nearly 270 cities and 56 countries. The company is currently valued at $40 billion despite its issues around the globe.

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