Uber, the app that secures quick rides, has been sued yet again. This time, it isn’t from city cabbies who are worried about loss of income, but from customers who say drivers refuse to accommodate blind riders with guide dogs. The San Francisco-based company is facing litigation in a San Francisco federal court based on complaints that Uber’s drivers have refused rides to the blind with guide dogs or have mishandled canine passengers and have been unkind to their owners.
The plaintiffs in the case have asked for an injunction to ensure that Uber employees do not use such discriminatory and humiliating practices when dealing with blind passengers. The National Association for the Blind’s affiliate in California and vision impaired author, Michael Hingson, say that Uber violates the federal Americans with Disabilities Act and Disabled Persons Act. The plaintiffs say the inconvenience of being refused rides is coupled with the humiliation and distressed caused by mistreatment.
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Uber management has insisted that its policy is to fire any employees who refuse rides to the blind, “It is Uber’s policy that any driver who refuses to transport a service animal will be deactivated from the Uber platform.”
However, there have been over 30 complaints from the 60 cities Uber does business in nationwide. In one case, a blind woman said her service dog was placed by the Uber driver in the trunk of the car.