(Reuters) - Uber asked a U.S. court to dismiss a lawsuit filed by an alleged rape victim in India’s capital, saying the ride-sharing company could not be held legally responsible for the driver’s acts.
The passenger, who reported being raped and beaten after hailing a ride with the Uber driver in Delhi in early December, sued the online car service in a U.S. federal court in January, claiming the company failed to maintain basic safety procedures.
In a filing late on Monday, Uber said the court should dismiss the lawsuit as the victim had sued the wrong party.
“While Plaintiff undoubtedly can state a claim against her alleged assailant, she cannot state a claim against Uber U.S., which is the wrong party. Nor does California law govern a dispute involving an alleged wrong committed by one Indian citizen against another Indian citizen, in India,” Uber said in the filing.
Uber said it had no relationship with the alleged assailant who had a contract with Uber B.V., a Netherlands-based entity with no U.S. operations and which is not party to the lawsuit.
The victim’s attorney, Douglas Wigdor, has represented high-profile plaintiffs, including a hotel maid who accused former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn of sexual assault.
“The motion is yet another attempt at deflecting responsibility and we are confident that Uber will ultimately be held accountable for its actions,” Wigdor said in an email.
Charges against a Chicago Uber driver who was accused of raping a female passenger late last year were dropped on Monday.
Uber, the world’s most valuable venture-backed start-up, has been dogged by controversies surrounding its business practices and safety policies at a time when it has been growing rapidly around the world.
The case in U.S. District Court, Northern District of California is Doe vs. Uber Technologies Inc, 15-424.
Reporting by Supriya Kurane in Bengaluru and Dan Levine in San Francisco; Editing by Anupama Dwivedi and Marguerita Choy