A blind woman who says Uber drivers have repeatedly refused to pick her up with her service dog filed a lawsuit in federal court Wednesday against the ride-hailing service.
Tiffany Jolliff said she troubles she has had with Uber drivers came to a head last summer, when she says she was hurt when a driver pulled away as she tried to get into a car.
She said she insisted to an Uber driver on June 14, 2015 that she had to accept her and her service dog, Railey, as passengers.
"I was like “Yes, you have to take the dog,'" Jolliff said.
"And she’s like, “No, I can’t! I will not take that dog!” she continued.
"And I said, “You are required to take that dog," Jolliff said.
Then, with Jolliff's hand still on the door handle, the Uber driver took off, she said.
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"I was pulled off to my right, and I was dragged a few feet," said Jolliff, who filed a police report.
She and her lawyer, Peter Romer-Friedman of the Washington Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs, told News4 they want Uber to train its drivers on complying with the Americans With Disabilities Act.
"It's about ensuring that every person who is blind or who has any other disability in this area is able to get the service they need when they want it, just like everyone else," the lawyer said.
An Uber representative said in a statement: "Uber expects compliance with all state, federal and local laws governing the transportation of riders with disabilities. Reports of refusing to transport a rider with a service animal will lead to deactivation of the Uber account."
Jolliff said she did not see that policy in action.
"Obviously, that line is good at the corporate level, but it is not filtering down to the drivers," she said.
Uber's code of conduct for drivers explicitly states that drivers must accommodate service animals.