Lawsuit says DoorDash negligent in hiring driver in attack
LAS VEGAS (AP) — A Las Vegas restaurant owner who says he was stabbed last year by a DoorDash driver is suing the delivery service, claiming it was negligent in hiring a felon with a history of violence and mental illness.
Fabio Coppola and his wife, Heather Coppola, say in the lawsuit filed Thursday in Nevada state court that Mackie Lee Allen went on to deliver the food order he had picked up from the restaurant at the time of the attack.
Coppola’s attorney, Richard Schonfeld, said the case raises questions about minimum standards for protection of consumers and restaurant workers.
“DoorDash’s flawed background check policy almost cost Mr. Coppola his life,” Schonfeld said.
The lawsuit also names Allen, 32, as a defendant.
He was arrested about a week after the Oct. 27, 2018, attack at Roma Deli Restaurant and is being held on an attempted murder charge at Clark County jail pending a preliminary hearing next month.
Attorney Adam Gill, who represents Allen in the criminal case, said he does not represent Allen in the lawsuit.
DoorDash representative Mattie Magdovitz declined to comment about the lawsuit but said the San Francisco-based company dismissed Allen for failing to follow and maintain its code of conduct.
“We sincerely regret that this incident fell short of the experience we strive to give our customers every day,” the company said.
Schonfeld said in the lawsuit that Allen was a DoorDash employee, not an independent contractor.
The complaint points to Allen’s previous felony convictions in Las Vegas for attempted robbery, forgery and drug conspiracy dating to 2010, including one in which a judge required Allen to “obtain further mental health evaluation.”
The Coppolas allege that a background check by a service called Checkr only reviewed seven years of criminal history — a period during which Allen was in prison. Checkr is not a named defendant in the lawsuit.
The court filing says the attack on Coppola with a pocket knife was unprovoked.
Coppola was treated for multiple wounds to his chest, back, side and a finger, the complaint said. It seeks unspecified damages greater than $15,000.