The next time you order a Domino's pizza, pity your humble delivery man. It's a precarious and potentially deadly world out there for your average door-to-door pie slinger. Take Francisco Prieto. The then-66-year-old Domino's employee was sent on a run to Liberty City around midnight in October 2010. No sooner had he handed over his cardboard cargo than three men jumped him.
Now Prieto is suing Domino's, claiming his former employer cruelly denied him workers' compensation for his injuries from that night and then unlawfully fired him.
A Domino's spokesman did not respond to Riptide's request for comment. Nor did Prieto return a message left on his phone.
Prieto had worked for Domino's for 21 years by the time he was sent from Little Havana to Allapattah late one night in October 2010 to deliver some pizzas. When he arrived around midnight, he noticed three young black men riding around nearby on bicycles, he later told police. But Prieto delivered the food to the house anyway and then walked toward his car.
Suddenly, the three men "rushed him," according to a police report. One pulled out a silver revolver and pistol-whipped Prieto in the face. Then the man put the gun to Prieto's head and demanded money. The delivery man handed over $37.98 as well his cell phone and beeper.
According to the report, the sexagenarian then "lumbered to his vehicle," at which point another one of the men pulled out a pistol and demanded the contents of Prieto's other pocket. When he showed him that it was empty, the teenagers finally let the old man go.
Prieto had bruises and abrasions on his face and had to be treated by an EMT, according to police. In his lawsuit, the delivery man claims the assailants injured his face, mouth, neck, left arm, left ankle, and back.
But his problems were just beginning. According to his lawsuit, Prieto's bosses at Domino's denied him workers' compensation. Instead, they fired him five months later. Even then, he wasn't aware the fast-food mega-chain had dismissed him until a mediation meeting this past January.
Domino's "retaliated against [Prieto] for his filing of a valid workers' compensation claim," the lawsuit says. In addition to "compensatory damages for pain, suffering, and humiliation," Prieto is also seeking retirement benefits.
Sounds like he has earned them. Prieto's case is in Miami-Dade County Court.