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Dunkin’ Donuts being Sued for Apple Cider That was too Hot

In a case reminiscent of the famous McDonald’s hot coffee case, Dunkin’ Donuts is being sued by a woman from New Jersey for severe burns she claims she suffered when the lid to her hot apple cider fell off the cup and the drink spilled onto her, according to the NJ Law Journal.

The lawsuit was filed by Jennifer Fragoso, who claims that the apple cider was “heated beyond industry standards to the point where patrons could not safely consume it because it was not reasonably fit, suitable or safe for its intended purpose.”

The lawsuit was filed in Superior Court in Essex County against Dunkin’ Donuts and Anju Donuts, the owner-operator of the franchise, which is located in Belleville. The lawsuit names counts for breach of express, implied warranties, product liability and negligence.

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“We can’t avoid the obvious—obviously the drink was supposed to be hot and it was hot,” says plaintiff lawyer Amos Gern of Star, Gern, Davison & Rubin in Roseland. “The thrust of our claim was that the temperature exceeded reasonableness and posed a safety hazard.”

Fragoso spilled her apple cider on September 24, 2012 while sitting in her parked car outside the franchise location. Fragoso claims that she suffered second and third degree burns from the liquid spill.

Fragoso needed months of treatment at The Burn Center at St. Barnabas in Livingston. She now has permanent scarring on her upper thighs and might need surgery in the future. Gern claims that if the drink had been at a decent temperature, Fragoso would not have been burnt so badly.

The complaint in the case has yet to be served, but a spokeswoman for Dunkin’ Donuts said that the company will not issue comment about the lawsuit. Dunkin’ Donuts is based in Canton, Massachusetts. Phone calls made to Anju Donuts were also not returned to the NJ Law Journal.

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