The 25-year-old woman who was allegedly raped by an Uber cab driver last month is contemplating filing a lawsuit against the online taxi service firm in the US. She has asked leading US-based lawyer Douglas Wigdor to fight her case.
According to the woman’s father, Wigdor himself approached them some time ago, expressing interest in taking up the case. Wigdor, who has fought several high-profile cases in the US, represented the hotel maid who accused former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn of sexual assault. Wigdor confirmed that he had been “retained by the young lady who was tragically raped by an Uber driver in Delhi last December”.
“Having met extensively with her and her family while in Delhi, I can only compliment them for their bravery and fortitude during this very difficult time. My praise also extends to the Delhi Police for their professionalism in locating the perpetrator and gathering the evidence of this detestable crime as well as the department of transportation for their courage in enforcing a ban on Uber until such time as it can be assured that this will never happen again. We will use all of our resources to vindicate my client’s rights and hold those responsible for their actions,” Wigdor said in an e-mail response to The Indian Express.
Though declining to discuss his strategy or timing in making a case against Uber, he said there is “sufficient factual and legal basis to do so”. On whether he was planning to take Uber to court in India, Wigdor said, “Not at this time.”
In an interview to The Indian Express, which was published on January 1, the woman had sought strict action against Uber for its alleged “negligence”.
“On 5th December, when I walked out with my friends after having dinner, being a responsible daughter and a girl, I chose to travel by a reputed cab with a hope to reach home safely. Since this is what is recommended to every Indian girl to take a safer transport to reach home after the December 16 gangrape incident,” she had said. “It’s not only a shame to Shiv Kumar Yadav who committed this crime of such inhuman nature, but it is also a shame on Uber for hiring and letting such people be a part of their organisation. It is a disgrace that Uber uses the tagline ‘New Delhi’s best way to request a safe and reliable ride within minutes’.”
Yadav, she hoped, would be “punished and imprisoned”, which will be a “deterrent for other inhuman criminals” like him. “But the loss which I have suffered is irreparable and might never be rectified. I pray for justice, which obviously includes the grave punishment to the accused but I equally want an action to be initiated against Uber. Had they been diligent enough to hire verified, professional employees, had they been diligent enough to consider the value of the life of their customers, this incident might not have happened,” she had said.