She says a Doordash driver tried to rape and kill her. The company says it’s not their problem. – DAVID RAUDALES

DAVID RAUDALES

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DAVID RAUDALES UK

She says a Doordash driver tried to rape and kill her. The company says it’s not their problem.

A Doordash delivery person on a bike.

Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

A woman who ordered food from Doordash says the driver returned to her house days later.
Police say he attempted to rape and kill her and bit off her fingertips.
She sued Doordash, but the delivery company says it’s not responsible for its contractors.

Like about 34 million other Doordash users, Chloe was hungry.

On February 12, 2022, the 18-year-old and her roommate ordered McDonald’s. Her food was delivered by a man named Taurus Larenzo Young. The interaction was unremarkable. They exchanged some small talk, took their food, closed the door, and he left.

Four days later, at around 4 p.m., there was a knock at the door.

Chloe, thinking it was someone else, opened it. It was Young. Chloe recognized him from the Doordash delivery. He asked a few questions about her neighbor and then returned to his car.

A few moments later, there was another knock at the door. It was Young again.

Chloe, who was home alone, was unnerved. She opened her door just a crack.

Then — according to an account laid out in criminal charging documents, a civil lawsuit, and interviews with Chloe and her attorney — Young forced his way inside, stripped off his pants, exposed himself, and tried to rape her.

In the process, she said, he beat her, broke her nose, strangled her, and bit off four of her fingertips — two on each hand.

“He bit my fingertips. They were cut open pretty bad,” Chloe told Insider in an interview. “I had a bunch of scrapes and bruises everywhere. My nose was fractured. I had a bunch of scratch marks on my neck. My face was all bruised up.”

Police later noted the dried blood on her fingers.

Young had a history of violence. In 2016, according to court records reviewed by Insider, Young pleaded guilty to charges of aggravated assault, hit-and-run, and driving without a proper license after he ran over a woman with a car following a verbal dispute. He served three years in prison and was out on parole while working for Doordash.

A grand jury in Coffee County, Georgia, where Chloe lives, brought a five-count indictment against Young over the incident at her apartment, charging him with attempted rape and attempted murder. Chloe’s last name is known to Insider but is being withheld from publication because she is a victim of sexual assault.

A judge remanded Young to prison and ordered him to serve the rest of his sentence behind bars. An attorney for Young didn’t respond to requests for comment, but court records show he pleaded not guilty to the new set of charges.

Doordash says it’s not their problem

In a civil lawsuit filed against Doordash in November, Chloe is seeking to hold the company to account for what she experienced. She said she doesn’t use the app anymore, nor other apps that use third parties for deliveries, like Seamless or Postmates. She stays away from other “gig economy” apps like Uber and Lyft as well, considering them an even greater safety threat.

“I really just want to make sure it doesn’t happen to anyone else,” Chloe said. “Everyone thinks that it can’t happen to them, but it can. And I feel like Doordash needs to be held accountable.”

Chloe is accusing Doordash of negligence, alleging the delivery company failed to conduct an adequate background check on Young. Doordash, the lawsuit says, should have never hired Young as a so-called “Dasher” or given him access to her home address.

According to Kendall Shortway, a lawyer representing Chloe, Doordash outsources many background checks to another tech company, Checkr. Shortway intends to add Checkr as a defendant in the case, she told Insider. 

“Between the two of them, somebody dropped the ball,” Shortway, an attorney at the law firm Morgan & Morgan, told Insider. “Because a violent felon shouldn’t have access to someone’s personal home address.”

Companies that use Checkr tell it the type of information they want in a background check. Shortway told Insider that it isn’t yet clear whether Doordash didn’t ask whether Young had a felony conviction before taking him on as a deliveryperson, if Checkr failed to discover it, or if either of them knew but didn’t act on it. On its website, Checkr says it uses artificial intelligence as an “efficient” way to conduct background checks.

It’s unclear what DoorDash’s policy is when it comes to hiring drivers with criminal backgrounds. Its competitor Uber says on its website that it screens applicants for “impaired driving and violent offenses,” though Uber also signed the White House’s “Fair Chance Business Pledge” in 2016, promising not to discriminate against job applicants with criminal records. Lyft explicitly warns that drivers could be ineligible for “a disqualifying violent crime,” including aggravated assault.

“We know that Checkr did a background check, but we don’t know if Doordash just asked, ‘OK, does he have a valid driver’s license?'” Shortway said.

In a court filing, Doordash said it was “was not negligent in any manner whatsoever” and that Chloe’s injuries “were due to circumstances outside this Defendant’s control.”

Doordash couldn’t be blamed for any alleged misconduct, the company argued in the filing earlier this year, because of Young’s “status as an independent contractor, and not as an employee.”

“They are basically saying, ‘He’s an independent contractor and it’s not our fault,'” Shortway said.

A representative for Doordash asked Insider for a response deadline for this story and then didn’t respond to subsequent requests for comment over several days. Checkr didn’t respond to multiple requests for comment.

Young ultimately left Chloe’s home after she told him she heard her boyfriend’s car outside. She’s still not sure how long he was in her house. Neighbors noted his car in the driveway at 4 p.m., and police weren’t dispatched until 7 p.m.

“She is trapped in the house with him, and all of this is going on,” Shortway said. “Her fingertips were actually bitten off.”

Read the original article on Business Insider