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Uber lawsuit over alleged India rape heading to mediation

Uber lawsuit over alleged India rape heading to mediation

Both sides have agreed to try to settle the claim without a trial

A lawsuit filed in California against Uber Technologies by a woman who alleged she was raped by a driver while taking a trip in Delhi appears to be heading to mediation.

Lawyers for the woman, who is not identified in her complaint, said they had met with lawyers for Uber and both parties agreed to try to settle the claim before proceeding in court, according to a court filing on Thursday.

Both parties have asked the court for permission to proceed with the process, known as "alternative dispute mediation," with a private mediator. They didn't specify a deadline for coming up with a resolution.

The filing comes just over a week after Uber petitioned the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California to throw out the complaint.

It said the court in San Francisco lacked jurisdiction because the two parties are both Indian citizens and the alleged rape occurred in India. Further, Uber said the lawsuit was directed at the wrong party as both the driver and passenger had entered into agreements with Uber B.V., a Dutch subsidiary of Uber that operates the service in India.

The lawsuit was filed in January and relates to a trip taken by the woman in December. The rider says she fell asleep during a 45-minute Uber ride and awoke to find the driver had parked his car in a remote area and was on top of her. The driver then raped and assaulted her for more than 30 minutes, she alleged.

The 32-year old driver was quickly arrested by Indian police on charges of rape, but the criminal case is a long way from conclusion.

Martyn Williams covers mobile telecoms, Silicon Valley and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @martyn_williams. Martyn's e-mail address is martyn_williams@idg.com

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