Uber ordered to pay blind woman $1.1 million after she was denied rides

A woman who missed her birthday celebration and was left in the rain on the way to a Christmas Eve church service has received compensation

Pixabay/Jackson David

The American Arbitration Association has ordered Uber to pay $1.1 million (£800,000) in compensation to a blind customer who was denied rides or harassed by drivers on 14 occasions.

The decision published in March described how Lisa Irving missed her birthday celebration and was left stranded in the rain on the way to a Christmas Eve church service.

The determination found that Irving was denied appropriate transportation because she is legally blind and travels with a guide dog.

The decision, reported in the San Francisco Chronicle, notes that Irving feared for her safety after being verbally harassed by drivers.

A driver yelled at her to get out of his car at least 15 times, pulling over at one point to ask her to get out of the vehicle in a dark and dangerous area.

Previously Uber reached a $225,000 settlement with the National Federation of the Blind in 2016.

The lawsuit was filed to ensure that blind people have reliable and equal access to Uber transportation.

After a year of litigation and settlement negotiations, the parties agreed to a class-action settlement that required Uber to take steps to end discrimination against blind people with guide dogs on its transport network.

The company agreed to make it clear to drivers that they are obligated to transport any passenger with a service animal through a range of measures including in-app notifications and regular communications.