Lawsuit: Woman Burned, Dog Dies From Starbucks Too-Hot Tea

By Stan Bush

DENVER (CBS4) – According to court documents, Deanna Solas-Solando says a barista at the Starbucks on Leetsdale Drive and Holly Street gave her a venti tea that did not have a heat sleeve or double-cup or even a secure lid.

starbucks lawsuit 10pkg transfer frame 1001 Lawsuit: Woman Burned, Dog Dies From Starbucks Too Hot Tea

(credit: CBS)

The woman claims hot water began spilling from the cup and melted her clothes, then burning her abdomen and thighs.

The lawsuit alleges that her dog also burned and died shortly after being treated at an animal hospital.

Solas-Solando needed surgery and skin-grafts for her severe burns.

burn 2 Lawsuit: Woman Burned, Dog Dies From Starbucks Too Hot Tea

(credit: Deanna Solas-Solando)

burn 1 Lawsuit: Woman Burned, Dog Dies From Starbucks Too Hot Tea

(credit: Deanna Solas-Solando)

The lawsuit claims the Starbucks had been warned before about serving dangerously hot drinks without sleeves or secured lids.

Hot coffee protections became industry standards after a landmark case in 1994 when a New Mexico woman sued McDonald’s for serving her coffee so hot it melted her cup and nearly killed her.

She was awarded nearly $2.9 million, though state laws capped the award to $640,000.

Starbucks says they’re innocent in this case. The company says video evidence does not support Solas-Solando’s allegations.

starbucks lawsuit 10pkg transfer frame 277 Lawsuit: Woman Burned, Dog Dies From Starbucks Too Hot Tea

(credit: CBS)

The company statement says:

We have video evidence that clearly contradicts the claims made by the plaintiff and believe they are without merit. 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 (employee) was at fault”

Stan Bush is a general assignment reporter at CBS4. His stories can be seen on CBS4 News at 10. Read his bio and follow him on Twitter @StanBushTV.

Comments

One Comment

  1. Water cannot be “too hot” for tea. Tea is made with water at a roiling boil, any hotter and its not water, but steam. Coffee is made with water well below boiling, about 190°, but tea needs to be at a full boil. The saying is to bring the pot to the kettle, not the kettle to the pot to ensure the water is still boiling.

    I believe Maggie Smith said it best:

    While it may be standard in the US to dunk tea bags in tepid water hoping for tea to result, that is not how tea is made. Perhaps the beverage should have been double cupped, perhaps it needed a sleeve, but the women should have understood tea would be just slightly below 212° when she got it.

    Additionally, her dog should have been properly secured so it couldn’t leap about the car. What on Earth did she think was going to happen if she stopped suddenly or was in accident? That dog would have slammed into the car at a high speed.

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