Non-Dairy Milk Charge Is Bias, Lawsuit Argues

Dunkin' faces class-action filing over surcharge ranging from 50 cents to $2.15
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 28, 2023 5:25 PM CST
Dunkin' Sued Over Non-Dairy Milk Charge
The Dunkin' logo is seen on a storefront, Friday, Oct. 14, 2022, in Boston.   (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File)

A class-action lawsuit filed Tuesday maintains that the Dunkin' chain violates the Americans with Disabilities Act when it charges customers extra for non-dairy milk substitutes. Depending largely on the location, stores charge 50 cents to $2.15 more for the drinks, says the suit, which was filed by 10 plaintiffs in federal court in the Northern District of California. The filing says the practice also violates state anti-discrimination laws, the Messenger reports. Dunkin' has pulled in more than $250 million by levying the surcharge, the plaintiffs claim.

The stores substitute whole milk or fat-free skim milk for the standard 2% milk in its drinks at no extra charge, and otherwise modifies drinks to suit customers' tastes or health needs, the suit says. So an extra charge for those with lactose intolerance and milk allergies, which are disabilities, constitutes discrimination, according to the filing. Boston Children's Hospital reports that 30 million to 50 million Americans are lactose intolerant. (More Dunkin' Donuts stories.)

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