ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - A stop for coffee escalated into a "traumatic" ordeal for one Flagler County man who filed suit against a Dunkin' franchisee, claiming that a toilet exploded on him in the restroom, covering him in human feces and urine.
Paul Kerouac filed the lawsuit in the Ninth Judicial Circuit Court on Wednesday against Dunkin' franchisee HZ O Donuts LLC after the incident he claims happened on Jan. 6, 2022.
On this day, the man from Flagler County visited the coffee shop located at 2265 Aloma Ave. in Winter Park and visited the men's room. Inside, a toilet reportedly exploded, covering the room and Kerouac with "debris, including human feces and urine," according to the lawsuit, filed by attorney Scott W. Spradley of Flagler Beach.
Signage is displayed on the exterior of a Dunkin location in Quincy, Massachusetts, U.S., on Wednesday, June 20, 2018. Dunkin Brands Group Inc. is scheduled to release earnings figures on February 7. Photographer: Scott Eisen/Bloomberg
When he left the restroom and sought assistance from employees to clean himself, they said "they were aware of the ‘problem with the toilet’" because this wasn't the first time something similar has happened, the lawsuit said.
Kerouac said as a result of the toilet explosion, he suffered "bodily injury and psychological damages resulting in pain and suffering, disability, permanent and significant emotional injury, mental anguish, loss of the capacity for the enjoyment of life, expense of medical care and treatment," according to the lawsuit.
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The lawsuit said this Dunkin' location was negligent for several reasons, including its failure to maintain the business, failure to warn its patrons of any hazards and failure to adequately inspect the toilet.
"As a direct result of (this Dunkin' location's) breach and/or multiple breaches of its duties and obligations to (Kerouac), who was lawfully on (the store's) premises, (Kerouac) unwittingly became the victim of the exploding toilet and of the aftermath which followed, and sustained damages, including injuries and emotional and mental distress," the lawsuit said.
Kerouac is seeking judgment against the Dunkin' franchisee for damages sustained, which are expected to be over $50,000. He's also seeking prejudgment interest, post judgment interest and costs of actions, plus a trial by jury.
FOX 35 reached out to Dunkin' for comment, but no word back yet.