Home > Uncategorized > Woman Sues Dunkin Donuts: Know Your Facts Before You Judge Case

Woman Sues Dunkin Donuts: Know Your Facts Before You Judge Case


 Elliot Millner, J.D.

Many of you may have already heard of the case of a Pennsylvania woman suing Dunkin Donuts for allegedly putting sugar in her coffee instead of the artificial sweetener she requested. According to the lawsuit, the sugar in the coffee caused her to go into diabetic shock.

Now I know a lot of people will immediately file this under the “silly lawsuits” section and keep it moving, but that may not necessarily be the case. We clearly don’t have all of the facts in this case, however it is at least plausible that what this woman claims happened did occur. And if it did happen as she claims, then she may have a legitimate claim for damages.

I’ll be the first to say that there are many frivolous and pointless lawsuits out there. However, many lawsuits that may seem ridiculous or absurd on their face actually have merit to them. One of the most famous examples of this is the McDonald’s “hot coffee” case. The media had a field day with the case, making jokes and talking about how absurd it was that someone would sue for coffee being hot (“coffee’s supposed to be hot!”). However, most of the people making jokes were completely ignorant to the facts. Yes, it is true, coffee is supposed to be hot; however, coffee isn’t supposed to be so hot that it melts the cup that it is in. McDonald’s had guidelines for how hot the coffee was supposed to be, which were not followed. Also, the plaintiff in that case suffered permanent scarring in the groin area from the boiling hot coffee.

We have been bombarded with this idea that American society is overly litigious, and it may be. But, the reality is that many lawsuits that seem frivolous have ended up providing safer products and services for all of us. Sometimes the only way to get a corporation or business to respect its customers is through litigation.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. June 8, 2011 at 7:33 pm

    There is nothing silly about this claim. I am offended that somebody would think this is silly. I am a insulin dependent Type 2 diabetic taking oral meds too. Diabetes is not fun and can be extremely hard to control. Considering over 5 million people are undiagnosed diabetes makes this situation even more critical. If she requested a sugar substitute than that is what she should be given. The fact that she went into diabetic shock is not a laughing matter and is very scary. She could have died because of having a little sugar in her coffee. Treatment for diabetes is very individualized and should be compared with other people. Her case of diabetes may have been that sensitive. Just because a person has diabetes means we have to take special care of bodies than the average person.

    Besides if you go to a burger joint and ordered a hamburger without tomatoes that is what you requested. If they put tomatoes on your burger and you get sick because of a food allergy you have every right to demand compensation.

    I wonder how well did the attendants know English at the establishment.

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