The company was banned in New Delhi as a result of an alleged rape in that Indian city, and MA denied licenses to more than 8.000 Uber (and Lyft) drivers based on more stringent guidelines in the state. Hundreds spoke out against Uber on social media sites, saying they'd been harassed by drivers.
The women say they were assaulted by their drivers and claim the ride-hail company has engaged in unlawful and "fraudulent" conduct that misled them into believing their drivers would safely transport them.
The lawsuit, which describes the details of the assaults faced by the two plaintiffs, seeks damages for plaintiffs and to force Uber to take steps to prevent assault by drivers. Female drivers also said that passengers had sexually harassed them.
The women, who are remaining anonymous, argue that due to an alleged lack of proper, thorough screenings by workers, certain customers of the service have been "subject to rape, sexual assault or gender-motivated violence or harassment by their Uber driver in the last four years". Reports of alleged sexual assaults by Uber drivers make news headlines several times a month.
The suit is the latest blow in a year of controversies for Uber, including allegations of rampant sexual harassment in its workplace. Another lawsuit was brought in 2015 by a women who was raped by an Uber driver in India.
It says Uber has skirted regulators by classifying itself as a technology company but it is essentially a taxi company with drivers that should be considered employees.
Regarding the new lawsuit, a company spokeswoman told CNET, "Uber received this complaint today and we are in the process of reviewing it. These allegations are important to us and we take them very seriously", Uber said in a statement. The suit cites numerous cases of rape, violence and sexual assault- along with screening lapses in Maryland and MA - as evidence of its claim that Uber has prioritized profits over the safety of its passengers.
Uber has argued that the screening standards applied in Maryland - where thousands of drivers have been rejected upon review since December 2015 - are outdated, overly broad and fail to adhere to a legal standard established by the state Public Service Commission a year ago.
It's been a tumultuous year for the ridesharing company. The two women say their Uber drivers assaulted them in two separate incidents, according to court documents. That lawsuit alleged that Uber mishandled the incident and that company executives improperly accessed her medical records because it doubted her account of the incident.
The plaintiffs in the case call for more transparency from Uber's new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, who recently overhauled the company's values to include: "We do the right thing".