Personal Injury Suit Filed Against Grubhub After Fake Driver Hit-And-Run
A personal injury lawsuit filed last week in Illinois state court alleges a Grubhub driver struck a Chicago woman in a hit-and-run attack that left her with significant nerve damage, a broken pelvis, fractures to both legs, and broken arms. The complaint, filed in Cook County Circuit Court on behalf of Bijan Choya Early, 24, alleges the driver, Aamir Mohammed, was acting as Grubhub’s agent when the accident occurred on May 15.
Security footage from Ms. T’s Southern Fried Chicken restaurant reportedly corroborates Early’s description of events indicating the driver failed to check the surroundings before driving the vehicle. Additionally, the suit accuses Grubhub of negligence in allowing Mohammed to access another driver’s account to pick up and deliver orders for the service despite not having a valid driver’s license. The suit seeks at least $50,000 in damages.
Shortly after the alleged hit-and-run Grubhub issued a statement confirming the company had permanently banned the individual whose account was being utilized by Mohammed. “We support efforts to prosecute both the individual charged with the crime and the driver who owned the account to the full extent of the law,” Grubhub said in the statement. “We run rigorous background and motor vehicle checks before contracting with any driver, among other security features.”
The genesis of the incident is reportedly related to Mohammed being asked by the restaurant to wait for a customer’s order outside while it was being prepared. The restaurant reportedly has a small waiting area, and Mohammed was not wearing any type of facial covering for protection amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a written statement from Early’s lawyers at Corboy & Demetrio PC.
Attorneys from Corboy & Demetrio PC allege via public statement that Mohammed became “irate” shortly after the request was made, proceeding to kick the glass of the restaurant’s front door as he was leaving to get inside his car. Shortly thereafter, Early left the store with her mother, the owner of the restaurant, and walked towards the front of Mohammed’s car as her mother stood by the side to call the police.
Mohammed attempted to drive away from the store but struck Early with the front of the car in the process, knocking her onto the hood, according to the complaint. Early then slid off of the car’s hood and onto the ground, and when Mohammed pulled away again he ran over her body, causing multiple injuries.
Early’s lawsuit claims Grubhub allowed Mohammed to operate as a delivery driver despite not having a valid Illinois driver’s license (which the complaint alleges the company either knew or should have known). Additionally, the complaint alleges the company failed to secure its platform from the allegedly unauthorized driver, and failed to warn the restaurant that it had not properly vetted Mohammed accordingly.
“How can an unauthorized person know what restaurant to go to, when to go there and in whose name the order is?” attorney Francis Patrick Murphy asked in a public statement. “Seems like Grubhub just did not properly vet this person or keep its platform properly secured. How many other ‘alleged unauthorized drivers’ are delivering for Grubhub?”
Last month, following the accident, a Grubhub spokesperson issued a statement declaring, “Our thoughts are with the victim and her family, and we wish her a speedy recovery. We run rigorous background and motor vehicle checks before contracting with any driver, among other security features. We are committed to continuously reviewing and evolving our practices to prevent fraud and ensure safety and security for the Grubhub community.”
Mohammed reportedly fled the scene of the accident, but later turned himself in at the Chicago Police Department’s Town Hall District. Early was taken to Illinois Masonic Medical Center, where she reportedly had surgery on both arms.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Cook County prosecutors charged Mohammed with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, failure to report an accident, and leaving the scene of the hit-and-run over the incident. He has been placed on electronic home monitoring while the case is pending.