In March 2021, a 19-year-old DoorDash delivery driver was physically attacked while making deliveries in Columbus, Ohio. The attack left the victim with extensive serious injuries.
It is one of the latest examples of documented physical assaults against food delivery drivers.
Assault Against Columbus DoorDash Driver
The assault occurred on March 21, 2021. The young driver, Mihretab, had difficulty finding the delivery location — an apartment building. He spoke with a male and female customer on the phone while trying to find their residence. According to the victim, the male customer was angry and aggressive.
In time, the driver did find the apartment building, delivered the food to the door and took a confirmation photo — part of the contactless delivery protocol.
He returned to his car and attempted to drive away. But, multiple cars allegedly blocked him from leaving. Then he was attacked.
“After a few seconds, they shattered the driver-side window, and they just jump onto me with the gun. I think they hit me with the gun in my face around here and then they started punching me.”
Following the attack, someone found Mihretab in his car and called 911. He suffered multiple serious injuries from the assault. One eye was swollen shut. One cheekbone was shattered. Several of his ribs were cracked.
Mihretab underwent surgery following the incident. His jaw was wired shut for recovery purposes.
A GoFundMe campaign raised tens of thousands of dollars to help Mihretab pay his medical bills and recovery costs related to the assault.
DoorDash released a statement of sympathy and agreed to cooperate with the police’s investigation. The Columbus Police are still investigating the incident.
Mihretab’s experience is not the first physical assault against a DoorDash driver. Not only have there been others across the country, others have occurred in Ohio.
2019 Assault Against Cleveland DoorDash Driver
In October 2019, a man shot a DoorDash delivery driver in Cleveland, Ohio. The 45-year-old driver had been on route to make a delivery. The attacker shot at the moving vehicle and hit the driver, injuring him. Officers arrested the shooter.
DoorDash Drivers Seek Legal Justice & Reform
These Ohioans were both victims of physical assaults while driving for DoorDash. In recent years, physical assaults are a recurring problem for app-based food delivery drivers nationwide. Many people driving for DoorDash, Uber Eats and Grubhub have experienced physical attacks and sexual violence.
Unfortunately, the business model of these companies does little to protect these delivery drivers in the event of an assault.
These drivers are independent contractors. Despite the risks they take on the job, they are denied benefits often offered to formal company employees. They do not receive health insurance, sick time or workers’ compensation.
Assaults on the job have left many drivers with high medical bills and a loss of income during recovery. In some cases, drivers have even lost vehicles during aggravated car thefts.
Food delivery drivers who were victims of serious physical or sexual assault can file lawsuits to win financial compensation. A monetary award or settlement can help these victims cover the costs of medical bills, property damage, lost income and emotional suffering related to the attack.
Cheung, K. (2021, March 30). DoorDash driver recovering after being beaten over delivery in southeast Columbus. NBC 4.
Ferrise, A. (2019, November 8). Man charged in shooting of DoorDash delivery driver in Cleveland. Cleveland.com.