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Lyft Driver Assaulted by Passenger Who Refused to Wear Mask

Posted by Jeremy Rosenthal | Aug 10, 2020 | 0 Comments

In complying with new safety protocols, a Lyft driver picking up a ride at the airport claims he was assaulted after a passenger refused to wear a mask. Rideshare drivers have been subject to assault by passengers, including some incidents of sexual assault. Under the coronavirus outbreak, requiring a passenger to wear a mask has triggered some passengers to take out their anger on the driver. 

Lyft Safety Regulations for COVID-19

COVID-19 continues to impact daily life in Denver and across the world. Colorado reported a 3 day moving average of 449 cases on August 1, 2020. While restrictions continue to limit where residents can go and how many can gather, rideshare companies provide one of the few options for people to get around without a car. 

In response to COVID-19, Lyft has launched a personal health certification to help protect drivers and riders from the virus. According to the rideshare company, Lyft's Health Safety Program will include:

  1. Personal health certification for drivers and riders,
  2. Required face masks for drivers and riders,
  3. Health safety education for drivers and riders, and
  4. Distribution of cleaning supplies and masks for drivers. 

As part of using the app to request or accept a ride, both riders and drivers will certify that: 

  • They will wear a face mask or covering;
  • They will not ride or drive with Lyft if they have COVID-19, think they have it, or have related symptoms;
  • They will keep vehicles clean and sanitize their hands frequently;
  • They will leave windows open when possible and avoid recirculated air when possible; and
  • Passengers will not ride in the front seat. 

If riders or drivers will not certify the above, they will not be able to request a ride or drive with Lyft. 

New York Driver Assaulted by Angry Passenger

Lyft driver in New York had reason to take the coronavirus pandemic seriously because he had several relatives in Ecuador fall ill with the virus. With a wife and children, he did not want to get sick and risk being able to provide for his family. The Lyft driver even put up a plexiglass barrier between the front and rear seats for additional security for himself and his passengers. 

According to NBC news, the driver picking up a passenger at the TWA Hotel at JFK airport asked if the passenger had a mask. The driver asked if the driver was “f-ing serious bro?” The driver said yes, he was serious, and he asked her to get out of the car because he did not feel safe with her in the car. 

When the driver canceled the ride, the passenger reportedly threw juice across the back seat. When the driver was cleaning up the mess, the passenger returned to spit in the driver's face. The driver reported the incident to the police but when the police showed up, the driver got arrested instead. 

The driver had his Lyft license suspended but it was later reinstated. 

Reno Lyft Rider Threatens Driver Over Mask

A Lyft driver in Reno eventually stopped a ride because the driver refused to wear a mask, followed by racist ranting against the driver. The Lyft driver posted a recorded video of the ride where he packed up a passenger in May. 

The driver first asked the rider if he had a mask and when the rider said no, the driver asked the rider to pull up his shirt over his nose and mouth. The rider refused and questioned whether the driver believed in that s***. The rider then says he does not like the driver for asking about the mask and is going to give a bad review. At that point, the driver says he's going to cancel the ride and stops to let the rider out. 

The rider refused to get out, calls the rider some racist and bigotted names, and says he could crush the driver's skull but he was not going to. After a few more minutes, the driver says if the rider does not get out, he will call the police. The rider continues by saying the driver is not American before finally exiting. According to Lyft, the rider has been banned from the platform. 

Lyft Drivers Injured in Denver  

The attorneys at have successfully represented Lyft passengers and Lyft drivers in Denver, BoulderAurora, and throughout Colorado who were victims of violence. Even if Lyft or the police do not take your claim seriously, our experienced attorneys will fight to get the maximum compensation available for your injuries. Contact us today for a free consultation. 

About the Author

Jeremy Rosenthal

Attorney Jeremy Rosenthal is dedicated to helping his clients seek just compensation for their injuries regardless of the lengths he has to go to or the distances he may have to travel in order to get it.


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