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Starbucks Sued for Allegedly Killing Dog with Hot Tea
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Summary: A Denver woman is suing Starbucks for allegedly not securing the lid on her hot tea. 

A woman in Denver claims that Starbucks’ hot tea murdered her dog. According to Fox News, the woman is suing the coffee and tea chain for having tea that is dangerously hot. The lawsuit is similar to the 1994 lawsuit filed by Stella Liebeck who successfully sued McDonald’s for their scalding coffee.


Deanna Salas-Solano, 58, said she purchased a hot tea from a Denver Starbucks and that it caused her second-degree burns and killed her pet. She said she bought a 20-ounce hot tea at a drive-through and that the lid was not secure nor was the tea double-cupped.

Salas-Solano filed a lawsuit on Friday in Denver District Federal Court. She said that the tea was so hot that it melted her clothing and caused severe pain to her stomach, legs, and lap.

Salas-Solano said when she got the tea, she felt the cup burn her hands. She screamed in pain, which caused her dog Alexander to jump into her lap. She then spilled the hot tea on the dog and herself, causing severe burns for both parties.

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According to the lawsuit, Salas-Solano took Alexander to an emergency vet hospital where he ultimately died due to the injuries caused by the tea. Salas-Solano also went to a medical center where she was treated for severe burns. She said that the next day she underwent reconstructive surgery and that she also would later need skin grafts.

Friday’s lawsuit said that Starbucks was warned by other customers that they needed to provide hot cup sleeves and secure cup lids when serving hot drinks. The lawsuit said that Starbucks had an official policy to double-cup hot tea.

Starbucks has already responded to the $100,000 lawsuit, stating they have evidence to defend themselves.

“We have video evidence that clearly contradicts the claims made by the plaintiff and believe they are without merit,” Starbucks said. “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.”

In the video watched by Fox News, Alexander is already sitting in the plaintiff’s lap when she buys her hot drink. She is also on her cell-phone.

When the hot tea is given to Salas-Solano, a hot sleeve is on the drink, and according to Fox News, the lid looks secure.  The video shows Salas-Solano spilling the drink, but it is hard to tell why. Reasons could be that the drink was too hot, she was distracted by her dog, or she was distracted by her cell phone.

This hot tea lawsuit is similar to the 1994 case won by New Mexico’s Stella Liebeck, then 79. A jury awarded her $2.86 million after she suffered third-degree burns when a McDonald’s hot coffee spilled onto her lap.

What do you think of the hot tea lawsuit? Let us know in the comments below.





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