A woman, who suffered serious burn injuries from hot coffee that spilled on her, has settled her claim for a trip and fall at Dunkin Donuts for $522,000.
Early in the morning of 19th January 2012, Maria Marsala was walking through the parking lot of Dunkin Donuts store in Highland Park, New Jersey, when she tripped and fell over a dislodged curb stop in the restaurant parking lot. As she fell, the cups of hot coffee she was carrying spilled over her – causing substantial scalding to her face and neck.
Maria was treated at the scene of the accident by the Highland Park First Aid Squad for the cuts and bruises she had sustained in her accident, and then taken to the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick for further treatment on her burn injuries. When she was discharged, Maria sought legal advice and made a compensation claim for a trip and fall at Dunkin Donuts.
In her claim against Dunkin Donuts, the franchisee who ran the Highland Park restaurant, and the owner of the mall in which the Dunkin Donuts store was located, Maria claimed that the three defendants had failed in their duty of care to maintain the parking lot in a safe condition. The three defendants denied their liability for Maria´s injuries, and a court date was set for the case to be heard at Middlesex County Superior Court.
However, prior to the hearing, Ed Rebenack – Maria´s attorney – announced that the compensation claim for a trip and fall at Dunkin Donuts had been settled out of court for $522,000. Rebenack said: “Ms. Marsala is hopeful that the settlement will serve to remind business owners that their customer’s safety should always be a priority. Basic property maintenance would have saved Ms. Marsala from years of debilitating injuries.”