Sometimes, it’s worth crying over spilled coffee.
A woman in Atlanta will receive $3 million from a Dunkin’ franchisee after being burned by a hot coffee spill in the drive-thru.
The 70-year-old customer went through the drive-thru in February 2021 and was handed a coffee through the window without a securely tightened lid. The coffee spilled all over her legs and chest, causing third-degree burns that resulted in nearly $200,000 worth of medical bills, including skin grafts and re-learning how to walk.
The woman and her legal team claimed that the burns were the result of the Dunkin’ employee failing to properly secure the lid on the cup of coffee, which caused it to fly off when the woman grabbed the cup.
“America may run on Dunkin, but our client had to re-learn how to walk due to the severity of her burns,” said Benjamin Welch of Morgan & Morgan, who is representing the victim. “Her burns were so severe that she spent weeks in the burn unit at Grady Health and has had to entirely alter the way she lives her life. Walking still causes her pain, she can’t go out in the sun, and she must apply creams and ointments to her burns several times a day.”
The case is infamously not the first of its kind.
In 1992, a woman named Stella Liebeck sued McDonald’s and won $2.7 million by a jury for burns she received after hot coffee was spilled in her lap.
Earlier this summer, a Florida family also sued McDonald’s and was awarded $800,000 after their four-year-old daughter allegedly received severe burns from chicken nuggets in 2019.
Dunkin’ Donuts did not immediately respond to Entrepreneur‘s request for comment, though the franchisee that will pay out the settlement is Golden Donuts, LLC.