Despite being “more affordable” than its competitors, Dunkin’ Donuts is being sued over its prices. Namely, how the coffee company charges extra for milk alternatives. And believe it or not, there is precedence for this lawsuit…
Are Dunkin’ Donuts Prices DISCRIMINATION?
According to ten plaintiffs across five states, the answer is yes. This is because all of these individuals are lactose intolerant…
As a result, a class-action lawsuit was filed against Dunkin Donuts in Northern California last month for $5 million in damages. Bogdan Enica, an attorney representing the plaintiffs, said this to NBC News:
“BEING ABLE TO DRINK MILK IS A CHOICE FOR SOME PEOPLE, BUT IT’S NOT FOR OTHERS. LACTOSE INTOLERANCE IS A DISABILITY UNDER THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT, AS AMENDED.”
Technically, Enica is correct. According to the ADA, allergies or intolerance are disabilities…
If they substantially limit a major life activity.
The Act also requires establishments to make “reasonable accommodations,” which include pricing, to products or services for those with disabilities.
SO, DUNKIN’ DONUTS ADDING $0.50 TO $2.15 TO DRINK PRICES FOR DAIRY ALTERNATIVES MAY QUALIFY AS A VIOLATION.
If Dunkin’ fights the suit, they must prove that lowering the price would “fundamentally alter the nature” of the beverages. Nonetheless, DD is not the only coffee conglomerate under fire for this offense…
The Prior Similiar Lawsuit
Provably, there is big money in the caffeine game. Therefore, charging the same for regular milk and its lactose-free counterparts seems reasonable.
Then, when you consider that Dunkin’ Donuts does not change its prices to make drinks:
- Altered for nut allergies
It further bolsters the Northern California case.
Similarly, Bogdan Enica’s firm brought a similar suit against Starbucks for its plant milk upcharges in 2022. However, that case is still pending.
Regardless of which way the case goes, people just want their coffee at a fair price. In the world of the $7 latte, is that too much to ask?
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