Aug 11, 2021
The subject of Uber and Lyft rideshare user safety is one we’ve covered a number of times on the DLG Blog. In May, a woman filed a lawsuit against an Uber driver who spewed racial slurs and made verbal threats during a ride from Atlanta to Charleston, South Carolina. Additionally, Uber and Lyft sexual assault claims have garnered headlines and rightful community outrage in recent years. And a recent report in PEOPLE magazine featured an interview with country music singer, Clare Dunn, who was allegedly attacked by her Nashville Lyft driver in the early morning hours of June 26.
Dunn recounted the event, which left her bloodied, bruised, and having to seek medical attention at a local emergency room, in the interview with PEOPLE.
“We were barreling towards the interstate and I spoke up and was like, ‘Hey, that was my turn. Where are you going? You need to take the next right turn,'” Dunn told the magazine. According to the country music singer, after pointing out his mistake, the Lyft driver immediately became aggressive and agitated.
“He was screaming at me. I couldn’t really make it out – his English wasn’t the best. And I just knew in that moment that I wasn’t going to get on that interstate with him. I wasn’t going to go quietly where he wanted to take me. And I think he realized maybe this girl was going to be more trouble than she’s worth.”
As Dunn recounted to PEOPLE, the Lyft ride soon turned violent.
“Before I could even get my shoes off or get my phone to try and call 911, he grabbed me by the collar, ripped me out of the backseat and slammed me face-first down into a ditch,” Dunn said. “Somehow in the scuffle, I thought I called 911, but I didn’t even get the number right. But it was a miracle. They called me back. And when I came to, I was screaming, and I saw headlights. He ended up just leaving me alone at that point and took off.”
Dunn was the only rider allegedly assaulted by the Lyft driver, but as she noted to PEOPLE, it was fortunate that her friend had exited the vehicle shortly before he became agitated. Something about the driver didn’t seem right from the beginning, according to Dunn.
“The next morning, the friend I was in the car with was telling me, ‘Oh my God, I had this feeling when I got out of that ride… I so wanted to just tell you to get out.'”
Following the altercation with the Lyft driver – whom she remembers to be a “6’2″-6’3″ 250 pound man” – Dunn received medical attention. When recalling the harrowing incident in the interview with PEOPLE, Dunn reportedly began to cry.
“It makes me emotional, but she [Dunn’s friend and Lyft co-passenger] said, ‘I wanted to tell you to get out and we’ll get another ride, or you could just sleep on my couch,’ and we both ignored it,” Dunn said. “As women, we sometimes do that, but I think when we have those feelings, they are alarm bells. I remember telling myself that I was overthinking it and I just wanted to go home. That’s all I remember thinking about it and just trying to tell myself it’s fine. I blame myself.”
Dunn filed a police report shortly after the alleged assault and identified the driver with the assistance of a Nashville Metro Police detective.
Lyft provided a statement to PEOPLE regarding the Clare Dunn assault:
“Safety is fundamental to Lyft. The behavior described is appalling, and we permanently removed the driver from the Lyft platform as soon as we learned of this incident. We’ve reached
out to Ms. Dunn to offer our support and are assisting law enforcement with their investigation.“
Despite the company’s statement, Dunn expressed concern over the potential for other Uber and Lyft riders to be injured or assaulted by dangerous drivers, and noted the difficulty involved in tracking down her own assailant after the incident.
“This has been hell,” Dunn said. “I don’t want anyone else to go through it. Even if it just can keep one girl or one guy from going through this… he knew what he was doing. He hit ‘complete the ride’ after it was done. I didn’t take a screenshot of his license information during the ride. All of that goes away when a ride is completed. All I had was a little tiny profile picture and his first name. It’s a slow process if you don’t have all that info.”
Dunn reportedly returned to her farm in Colorado after the Lyft driver assault. She indicated to PEOPLE that she continues to be emotionally impacted by the incident.
“I wake up a couple of times throughout the night thinking I heard something – like someone’s at my back door,” Dunn said. “Even just in the past year, before this whole deal happened, it felt like the world was just such a crazy, scary place in general. So being here on the farm is definitely a safe place for me right now.”
Nashville Metro Police issued an alert for a suspect – Albert Boakye (46) – shortly after Dunn’s report was filed. A warrant had reportedly also been issued for Boakye’s arrest following Dunn having provided a photo (via his Lyft profile) and further information related to the physical assault.
Boakye was eventually arrested and booked at the Metro Jail on Tuesday, August 10, at approximately 12:46 a.m. No details are currently available regarding possible bond.
Uber and Lyft are responsible for maintaining a duty of care to both passengers and drivers alike. However, the companies have received scrutiny for not conducting more in-depth and thorough background checks on drivers, as well as failing to ban riders who have exhibited problem behavior.
The result has been an inordinate number of reports detailing sexual and physical abuse.
In 2016, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) began tracking rideshare crimes. Since the tracking began, Uber and Lyft drivers have reportedly committed more than 500 crimes, 80% of which remain unsolved as of December 2019.
The details pertaining to those crimes are troubling:
Whether you’re physically, verbally, or sexually assaulted by an Uber or Lyft driver, you may be entitled to financial compensation for any resulting injuries. Moreover, if you’re an Uber or Lyft driver and are assaulted – physically or sexually – by a passenger, you have rights under the law and may be entitled to financial compensation for your injuries.
At Dordulian Law Group (DLG), we’ve helped clients successfully secure multi-million dollar settlements, including claims brought against major rideshare companies. If you’re injured in an Uber or Lyft incident of any kind, contact our experienced and trusted injury attorneys today for a free consultation.
Ready to file a claim and pursue justice through a financial damages award? Our expert attorneys are available online or by phone now.
DLG is led by a former sex crimes prosecutor and Deputy District Attorney for Los Angeles County, Sam Dordulian. With over 100 jury trial victories, Dordulian offers a level of experience and skill that simply can’t be found at most personal injury firms.
With more than $100,000,000 successfully recovered in settlements and verdicts for injured clients like you, DLG’s experience and dedication to each and every case is clear. We’ve managed to maintain a 98% success record throughout the years due to our commitment to fighting for injured victims and helping them achieve justice through the maximum financial compensation they truly deserve.
Contact DLG today online or by phone at 818-322-4056 to discuss your Uber or Lyft injury with one of our dedicated team members. Our consultations are always free and without any obligation. We’ll listen to the facts of your case, launch a thorough investigation (led by our in-house Chief Investigator, Moses Castillo, a retired LAPD detective), and develop an aggressive and precise legal strategy based upon our years of experience and past success.
With DLG, our No Win/No Fee Guarantee means you never have to worry about upfront costs or out-of-pocket expenses. You pay nothing until we recover the maximum financial compensation you deserve for your Uber or Lyft injury.
The deadline for filing an Uber of Lyft injury claim can vary depending on the circumstances of your case. Contact a member of our team as soon as possible to ensure that your claim is filed properly and according to the statute of limitations. Don’t miss out on your opportunity at justice following an Uber of Lyft injury. Reach out to DLG today and take the first step towards recovering the maximum damages award you deserve.
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