CLEMENTON — A Camden County man suing Dunkin' is the latest among similar lawsuits claiming a hot coffee spill left him with painful burns and long-term injuries.

Joseph Panarello, 70, went to his local Dunkin' on Blackwood Clementon Road on January 21, 2021, according to the complaint. It states he ordered one large coffee and one small coffee.

The lawsuit, filed on April 26, claims a worker was handing Panarello his drinks at the drive-thru window when they spilled onto his legs and groin.

The lawsuit stated Panarello suffered "severe burns" along with unspecified injuries, some permanent. New Jersey 101.5 reached out to Panarello's attorneys for further details.

Panarello has had to "spend large sums of money for physicians and medical treatment" after the spill, the suit said. It added he continues to "endure great pain and suffering."

Like another recent lawsuit against Dunkin' in Burlington County, Panarello's lawsuit placed some of the blame on an employee. The Clementon worker is accused of being "negligent and careless" by not securing the cup lid.

This is the fourth lawsuit filed by New Jersey residents against Dunkin' for hot coffee spills since March 14. They all blame loose lids, faulty trays, employees, or a combination of the three.

Dunkin' announced in May 2020 that it had completed a transition from using polystyrene foam cups to using paper cups at all locations. At the time, the company in a statement called it an environmentally friendly move "to serve both people and the planet responsibly."

Rick Rickman is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at

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