NJ Woman Sues Dunkin' Donuts Over Hot Cider Spill

A New Jersey woman has filed a lawsuit against Dunkin' Donuts after spilling a cup of "excessively hot" apple cider in her lap in September 2012, causing her to suffer second- and third-degree burns, according to court documents.

The lawsuit was filed last week by 24-year-old Jennifer Fragoso, who claims that the apple cider purchased at a Dunkin' Donuts in Bellevue, New Jersey, was served at a temperature "beyond industry standards" in a to-go cup with a lid that "was not properly secured." According to the complaint, Fragoso is alleged to have suffered second- and third-degree burns, as well as permanent injuries to her legs.

Fragoso's suit was filed 20 years after a similar lawsuit against McDonald's, in which a customer who spilled hot coffee in her lap was awarded nearly $3 million. That case has been cited as an example of frivolous litigation by many tort reform advocates.

In a statement issued this week, Fragoso's attorney denied that the lawsuit is frivolous, saying that his client would not have suffered third-degree burns unless the beverage was too hot for consumption.