By City News Service
POSTED: 06/22/17, 2:16 PM PDT
LOS ANGELES — A woman who alleges she was sexually assaulted by an Uber driver earlier this month in Los Angeles sued the ride-hailing company today.
The allegations in Erica Holland’s Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit include negligence, sexual battery, intentional misrepresentation, civil rights violations and intentional infliction of emotional distress. She’s seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages, as well as a court order directing Uber to provide appropriate training to its drivers to avoid civil rights violations and sexual harassment.
An Uber representative did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
Holland, a producer, choreographer and performer, says she summoned a ride about 10:25 p.m. June 9 to take her to a Melrose Avenue club, Pour Vous, where she was booked to perform a show.
After Holland sat in the front passenger seat of the Uber car, the unidentified driver “violently scooped and grabbed Ms. Holland’s hair and pulled her head toward the center of the car,” the suit alleges.
After the driver let go, Holland “felt weak, frozen and paralyzed in fear,” according to her court papers.
Upon arriving at Pour Vous, the driver “shot his hand up her loose dress ... while making a sexually explicit comment” as she got out of the car, prompting her to tell the driver, “You are a terrible person. Do not ever touch any woman without her permission,” the suit states.
Despite her “shock and humiliation,” Holland performed on stage at Pour Vous, according to the complaint. After the show, she called police and wrote an email to Uber, the suit states.
The next day, Holland awoke with hives on her thighs and stomach because of the stress from the attack, the suit alleges. She says she is still traumatized and trembles when she recounts what happened.
Holland no longer takes Uber and her friends drive her whenever possible, the suit states.