Woman Sues Dunkin' Alleging She Was Scalded by Coffee While Employees Laughed at Her

A New England woman is suing Dunkin' after she claims she suffered burn injuries from scalding hot coffee while store employees mocked and laughed at her.

According to a copy of the lawsuit obtained by The Patriot Ledger, the incident occurred last year when the woman visited the drive-thru of a Dunkin' franchise located in Brockton, Massachusetts, a Boston suburb.

The woman was seated in the passenger seat of her sister's car while her sister ordered three hot coffees. The Dunkin' employee then handed the tray of coffees to the woman's sister without properly securing the lids, the lawsuit said.

The coffees came loose and spilled their contents onto the woman's legs, thighs and buttocks. This forced her to run into the parking lot and rip her pants off, at which point Dunkin' employees reportedly began pointing and laughing at her.

Despite removing her pants, the woman still reportedly suffered numerous serious injuries, including burns to her legs and buttocks, nerve damage, and scarring.

Additionally, the burns affected a mole that the woman had, necessitating the removal of several outer layers of skin. The lawsuit stated that she might need additional cosmetic surgery in the future.

At the time of the lawsuit's filing, at least $779.12 had reportedly been incurred in medical bills on the woman's behalf.

Beyond the physical pain of the accident, the woman reportedly suffered bouts of emotional distress as a result of the employees' behavior while she was in the parking lot.

The emotional trauma manifested itself in "sleep disturbance and bouts of crying," the lawsuit said.

The woman is seeking "judgment in an amount sufficient to compensate her for her losses, expenses, pains and suffering for which recovery is demanded."

Dunkin Donuts store exterior
A Massachusetts woman is suing the company after claiming physical and emotional trauma after being scalded by a hot cup of coffee. The exterior of a Dunkin' store is seen. Yuriko Nakao/Getty

Lawyers for the woman argue that Dunkin' employees failed to properly secure their product in the coffee cup, and also acted in an unreasonable manner while she was suffering extreme physical and emotional maladies.

"The Defendants' actions were extreme and outrageous, beyond all possible bounds of decency and utterly intolerable in a civilized community," the lawsuit stated. "The Plaintiffs emotional distress was severe and of a nature that no reasonable person could be expected to endure."

This is not the first time that Dunkin' has been the target of a legal battle regarding its beverages.

A New Jersey man was allegedly also burned by scalding hot coffee last year after an employee failed to secure the cup's lid. According to Fox Business, the man suffered "personal injuries of both temporary and permanent nature," as well as "various other economic and non-economic damages."

Other establishments that serve hot coffee have also dealt with similar issues in the past.

The most famous of these incidents occurred in 1994 when a jury ordered McDonald's to pay a New Mexico woman $2.7 million in damages after she was severely burned by their coffee, although the case was eventually settled for an undisclosed amount.

Newsweek has reached out to the Dunkin' public relations department for comment.