Chicago Bar-tender

Man dies in a Chicago Dunkin' Donuts bathroom, mother sues franchise

Public restrooms freak me out as is. They're usually dirty, and you never know what's happened there, so you assume the worst.

In the Dunkin' Donuts at 6336 W. North Avenue, the worst turned out to be true. In 2007, a Lake County man died in that Dunkin' Donuts bathroom.


Today, his mother, Halina Zalewski, filed a wrongful death suit in court against Dunkin' Brands, Inc. Dunkin Donuts, Rahim A. Merchant, Rahim N. Merchant and Anupam R. Patel--the three franchisees of the location.

The complaint tells the story this way: 

On a night in June 2007, Simon Chruszcz entered the Dunkin' Donuts bathroom at 6:30, and when he did not leave for some time, another customer became concerned. The concerned customer knocked on the door and heard no response, laid down on the ground to look under the door, saw Chruszcz lying on his back and attempted to kick open the restroom door but was yelled at by an employee. The customer then "implored the agents or employees of Dunkin' Donuts to telephone for help, but they refused," so he left the restaurant and called 911.

More than two hours after Chruszcz entered the restroom, Chicago Police and Fire Dept arrived and broke down the bathroom door. The man was dead upon arrival to the hospital.

Now, the mother of the deceased is accusing the defendants of refusing to enter the restroom or contact emergency services "when it knew that one of its patrons ... was not responding and lying immobile on the floor."

The lawsuit is six counts. She is demanding an amount in excess of $30,000 for each.



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1 Comment

Jim said:

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Anybody else thinking of that scene from Clerks?

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