Dunkin' to Pay $522K to Woman Who Tripped, Spilled Coffee
A metal spike was sticking up in a DD parking lot
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 15, 2015 2:00 PM CDT
Be careful with that hot drink.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

(Newser) – It's not the first time a fast-food joint has come under fire for hot-beverage injuries, but this time it's not just the coffee's fault. A New Jersey woman has settled her lawsuit against Dunkin' Donuts for $522,000 after she tripped over an exposed spike from an out-of-place curb stop in one of the chain's parking lots, reports MyCentralJersey.com. Per the lawsuit, Maria Marsala says she had just purchased several coffees from the Highland Park store one morning in January 2012 and was walking to her car when she fell over the spike, spilling hot coffee all over her face and neck.

Marsala also suffered cuts to her right hand and right knee, the site notes, and her lawyer tells CNBC that she needed surgery for back and shoulder injuries. "Basic standards for parking lot maintenance are for the protection and safety of the general public," he says. "Allowing a metal spike to protrude out of the asphalt clearly violates these standards. Ms. Marsala is hopeful that the settlement will serve to remind business owners that their customer's safety should always be a priority." The suit, which was also brought against the franchise owners and the owner of the strip mall where the DD is located, was set to go to trial later this month. (A North Carolina cop says spilled Starbucks coffee made his Crohn's disease flare up.)