Cops and Courts, Latest News

Lawsuit filed against popular coffee stop after customer sustains severe burns

A lawsuit filed in Monongalia County Circuit Court last week claims a local woman suffered severe burns after being served a scalding hot cup of coffee with a defective lid at the Dunkin Donuts in Sabraton.

The suit names the defendant as Doughnut Joe’s, LLC — doing business as Doughnut Joe’s Sabraton, which owns and operates the Dunkin Donuts location on Earl L. Core Road in Sabraton.

The plaintiff, Jana McCrobie, represented by Colombo Law, claims she went through the drive through of Dunkin Donuts on Nov. 12, 2021 and was severely burned by the coffee she was served.

“We understand the stigma that often comes with ‘hot coffee’ cases,” said Kala L. Sowers, Esq. with Colombo Law, “but we think it’s important for folks to understand that Ms. McCrobie suffered significant injuries.”

According to the lawsuit, McCrobie was unaware that the lid of the large coffee she was served was defective and would not properly attach to the top of the cup, which “allowed scalding hot coffee to spill into her lap” as she was driving to work.

In excruciating pain, she had to pull the vehicle over and remove her pants, the suit claims.  She then proceeded to Mon General Hospital, which — due to the severity of her burns — told her to go to the West Penn Burn Center in Pittsburgh, Pa. 

McCrobie “sustained second-degree burns to her right thigh that required skin grafting and that have left her with permanent scarring and sensitivity on her right leg,” the suit stated.

The lawsuit claims negligence against Doughnut Joe’s, LCC for selling a product that they knew or should have known could cause injury and should never have allowed its coffee to become hot enough that, if spilled, would cause second-degree burns.  

In addition, the suit says the defendant should have known that a lid of the wrong size or not attached properly poses a serious risk of injury.

Sowers said Colombo Law typically does not get involved in cases like this one; however, they will help someone, like McCrobie, who has been particularly injured. 

“This poor lady got absolutely scalded by ridiculously hot coffee served to her with a lid that did not fit,” Sowers said.

“We did not want to file this lawsuit,” she stated, “but Dunkin Donuts in Sabraton denied any responsibility and would not even pay for her medical expenses at the West Penn Burn Center. That is simply unreasonable and they forced us into this position.”  

Management at the Dunkin Donuts in Sabraton said they did not currently have comment on the allegations in the lawsuit.

According to the lawsuit, McCrobie is seeking “all compensatory damages recoverable under West Virginia law,” including, but not limited to, past and future physical and emotional pain and suffering, mental anguish and emotional distress, medical expenses, loss of enjoyment of life, and past lost wages.

TWEET @DominionPostWV