A Colorado woman is seeking upwards of $100,000 in injuries after a Starbucks employee gave her a cup of hot tea with an unsecured lid, allowing the scalding to spill and cause severe injuries to the woman and fatal injuries to her dog.
58-year-old Deanna Salas-Solano claims that the incident, which took place in September 2015, was the result of an improperly placed lid on her 20-ounce hot tea that she purchased from a drive-thru in Denver, KDVR reported.
She filed the suit in Denver District Federal Court on Friday, alleging that the spilled tea was so hot that it melted through her clothes and caused nightmarish burns on her stomach, legs, and lap. Since the tea was not double-cupped and did not come with a hot cup sleeve, the liquid also burned her hands.
Salas-Solano also claims that her screams caused her dog, Alexander, to jump onto her lap, at which point she also spilled tea on him. He was rushed to an emergency veterinarian hospital but “ultimately succumbed to the injuries caused by the tea, dying a short time later.”
Meanwhile, Salas-Solano was treated for severe burns at a nearby hospital before being transported to the Swedish Medical Center Burn and Reconstructive Unit to undergo surgery. She was diagnosed with “two percent total body surface area second-degree burn injury to the abdomen and bilateral thighs,” the lawsuit states, necessitating skin grafts to repair.
Starbucks does not plan to settle with Salas-Solano without a fight.
“We have video evidence that clearly contradicts the claims made by the plaintiff and believe they are without merit,” the coffee goliath said in a statement. “We look forward to presenting our case in court. While we are sympathetic to Ms. Salas-Solano and the injuries she sustained, we don’t have any reason to believe our partner was at fault.”
The video, which was reviewed by KDVR, apparently shows Salas-Solano on her cellphone as she receives the tea – which has a hot cup sleeve and a seemingly secure lid. It is also unclear whether she accidentally grabbed the cup by the lid or sleeve because she was distracted by her dog or her cellphone.