Woman Trips in Dunkin Donuts Parking Lot and Settles for Over Half a Million Dollars

By Greg Kohn

Can injuries incurred while engaged in ordinary activities be compensable?

Many people think that you have to be injured while engaged in some type of out of the ordinary activity to be compensated for your suffering. This is not the case. Injuries sustained while engaged in the most routine activities can be compensable. Recently, a New Jersey woman was awarded a large settlement after tripping while getting a cup of coffee.

Maria Marsala made a trip to Dunkin Donuts in Highland Park to get a couple of cups of coffee.  When she was leaving the shop with a tray of hot beverages she tripped over an exposed rebar spike that had come out of a curb stop. She fell, injuring her shoulder and back and also burning herself with the hot coffee she carried.

She brought suit against the Dunkin Donuts and against the owner of the strip mall where the shop was located. She argued that the defendants had violated the standard for parking lot maintenance and were therefore liable for her injuries. The case was set to go to trial in September of 2015, but the parties settled out of court before the start of the trial. Marsala settled with Dunkin Donuts for $522,000 to compensate for the injuries she sustained.

Many establishments have been sued after patrons have been burned with hot beverages. What is interesting is that even with similar facts the outcomes of these cases vary. Therefore, it is unclear how this case would have played out if the parties had gone to trial.

If you are injured in any type of accident, whether it is during a routine activity or an extraordinary one, you may be entitled to compensation. The best thing you can do is speak to an experienced Essex County, New Jersey personal injury attorney at your earliest convenience. These cases are subject to strict time limitations so don’t delay.

About the Author
Greg Kohn is a partner at Nagel Rice and specializes in complex civil litigation cases, including professional malpractice, personal injury, class actions, wrongful death, products liability, and commercial litigation.  He has extensive experience representing clients in both state and federal court. Greg has tried many jury trials to verdict and has recovered over $50 million in settlements and verdicts in all types of personal injury matters including automobile accidents, wrongful death cases, slip and falls, and other catastrophic injury cases. Greg also handles medical malpractice cases, involving misdiagnoses, wrongful birth, and delayed cancer diagnosis. If you have questions regarding this article, you can contact Greg here.