Pando

Citing Pando reporting, California prosecutors sue Uber over inadequate background checks

By Paul Bradley Carr , written on December 9, 2014

From The News Desk

Uber is being sued by prosecutors for the state of California for unlawful business practices in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

In a press release today announcing the action, San Francisco’s district attorney George Gascón and Los Angeles DA Jackie Lacey said they had reached a $500,000 settlement with Lyft for the same behavior. Also-ran rideshare service, Sidecar remains under investigation.

The news comes in a week when Uber services have been banned or suspended in Delhi, Amsterdam, Thailand and Spain, when Uber drivers are accused of rape in Chicago and Delhi and when a driver in San Francisco has been charged with manslaughter over the death of a six year old girl. Authorities in several of those cases have cited insufficient background checks as a reason for wishing to ban, restrict or investigate Uber.

Earlier this year, Carmel DeAmicis exclusively reported  on Pando that Uber had failed to conduct adequate background checks, including missing a felony conviction for driver who was later accused of a racially-motivated attack on a passenger. Pando's reporting is cited in today's lawsuit in California, which also notes that the story was followed up five months later by Forbes:

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According to Reuters:

"Uber continues to misrepresent and exaggerate background checks on drivers," Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey said. "It's not our goal to shut them down. What we're saying is their advertising is false."

Lacey partnered with Gascon in a probe of the ridesharing industry. A third company — Sidecar — is still under investigation and could face a lawsuit of its own if it can't reach an agreement with prosecutors, Gascon said. Here's today's legal filing: