The popular coffee chain Starbucks is being sued after a woman claims she was disfigured and her dog was killed after receiving scalding hot tea. According to the lawsuit, the customer, Deanna Salas-Solano, is claiming an employee failed to secure the lid properly on her drink causing it to spill.
According to the Colorado native, the incident occurred in 2015 when she ordered a Venti-sized hot tea at a Starbucks drive-thru. When she was handed the "unreasonably hot" drink by the employee at the window, it did not have a sleeve and the lid was not securely fastened.
“Once Plaintiff received the cup of tea into her hands, the hot temperature of the cup began to burn her hands,” the complaint reads. “Hot tea began to spill out of the cup through the unsecured lid and onto Plaintiff’s body. The tea caused Plaintiff’s clothing to melt. The tea caused severe burns to Plaintiff. Plaintiff immediately experienced intense pain including on her stomach, legs, and lap.”
Due to her screaming out in intense pain, her dog Alexander, who was in the vehicle at the time, jumped onto her lap causing more tea to spill on her pet. The dog was rushed to the vet but reportedly died from his injuries. Deanna was also taken to the hospital, where she was treated for second-degree burns and underwent a skin graft operation. She is asking for $75,000 in damages.
A spokesman for Starbucks responded to the allegations and denies the employee was at fault. “I think it goes without saying we’re certainly sympathetic to Ms. Salas-Solano and the injuries she sustained, and my heart goes out to her for the loss of her dog,” Reggie Borges told The Washington Post. “Having said that, we have video evidence that clearly contradicts the claims by her and actually believe they’re without merit. We don’t have any reason to believe that our partner [employee] was at fault in this.”
This is not the first time Starbucks has been sued because of a hot beverage. This past May, a Florida woman received $100,000 after the lid fell off her coffee and spilled onto her lap, permanently scarring her. And who can forget about the 1994 lawsuit against McDonald's where a jury awarded a woman $2 million in damages after she spilled hot coffee on her lap in the fast food chain's drive-thru?