A Tim Hortons employee threw hot coffee at a customer who swore at her, a lawsuit says

A Tim Hortons employee threw hot coffee at a customer who swore at her, a lawsuit says
Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images
  • A lawsuit accuses a Tim Hortons employee of throwing coffee at a customer who called her a "bitch."
  • The customer in Michigan said the worker had refused to add extra food to her drive-thru order.

A Tim Hortons customer who insulted a staff member is seeking damages in excess of $25,000 over claims the employee threw hot coffee at her, according to a lawsuit and witness statements to the police.

Dusty Jackson ordered a cup of coffee from a drive-thru window at the Southgate, Michigan, restaurant on the afternoon of October 30, per the lawsuit, which was filed November 2. The lawsuit said Jackson subsequently asked to add 10 Timbits to her order but the Tim Hortons worker — a 16-year-old referred to in court documents as "Jane Doe," a pseudonym often used for minors — refused, saying it was against policy and Jackson would have to return to the back of the line.

The lawsuit said Jackson and the defendant then got into an argument during which a supervisor at the restaurant gave Jackson the Timbits, which are small doughnut chunks.

The defendant then "slammed the drive-thru window shut," the lawsuit said, an action it attributed to the worker being "upset that Plaintiff received her Timbits."

The lawsuit quoted Jackson as telling her boyfriend, who was sat next to her in her vehicle, "Wow, what a bitch."


The drive-thru window then opened again "and instantly, Plaintiff was struck with hot coffee," the lawsuit said.

Both the passenger in the vehicle and a Tim Hortons employee corroborated to the police that Jackson had cursed at the defendant and that the defendant then threw the coffee.

Sgt. Jonathan McCue of the Southgate Police Department said in a report that when he arrived at the scene he saw "a large amount of coffee residue" on Jackson's face, clothes, and vehicle.

Jackson told McCue that she wasn't injured or burned and that the coffee was warm but not hot because of the amount of cream it contained, the police report said.

In the lawsuit, Jackson's lawyers said the coffee caused injury to her face and body as well as damage to her car and cellphone.


Jackson filed the lawsuit against both Tim Hortons and the employee. It accuses the employee of assault and battery and inflicting emotional distress and the coffee chain of gross negligence and negligent supervision of its staff.

A Tim Hortons representative told Insider: "We do not comment on pending litigation; however, I can say that Tim Hortons franchisees are expected to meet our brand's strict standards and high expectations for guest experience and that we are looking into the matter with the franchisee that operates the restaurant."

The company told Insider that the staff member was no longer employed at the restaurant.

Southgate Police Department told Insider that "a criminal investigation/police procedure has been completed and the case is closed."

Demand for drive-thru and to-go orders surged when dining rooms closed during the coronavirus pandemic. Some workers have complained that it has made their jobs harder, and the US has seen historically high rates of people quitting their jobs.