Elderly Woman Awarded $3 Million Settlement Over Dunkin’ Donuts Coffee Spill

An 70-year-old in Atlanta was awarded a settlement after a spill at the Dunkin' drive-thru left her with severe, life-altering burns.

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An elderly woman in Atlanta has received a $3 million settlement from a local Dunkin’ Donuts franchise following a lawsuit over severe burns caused by a coffee spill.

According to the woman’s attorney, Benjamin Welch, the incident occurred in the drive-thru of a Dunkin’ Donuts in Sugar Hill, Georgia in February 2021 when the lid of the cup came off, leading to second and third-degree burns on her thighs, groin, and abdomen. The woman required extensive skin grafts and faced ongoing medical expenses exceeding $200,000. 

Despite retiring from her federal government job, the woman, who was 70 years old at the time of the incident, claims her life has been significantly impacted as she struggles with daily activities and ongoing treatment.

“America may run on Dunkin, but our client had to re-learn how to walk due to the severity of her burns. 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,” said Welch in a statement obtained by Fox 5 Atlanta. “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 lawsuit alleged that the accident could have been prevented if the coffee cup’s lid had been properly secured. The Dunkin’ Donuts franchisee, Golden Donuts, LLC, agreed to a $3 million settlement to compensate the victim.

The case bears similarities to the famous “hot coffee lawsuit” involving McDonald’s in 1994, when Stella Liebeck suffered third-degree burns after spilling coffee on herself.

News of a similar lawsuit emerged this week when plaintiff George Latorre claimed he suffered “extreme pain and suffering” when coffee spilled on him during a flight on American Airlines from Vietnam to New York City.

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