Lawsuit says spilled tea at Colorado Starbucks disfigured woman, killed dog

A woman is suing Starbucks claiming its employees caused her dog’s death and gave her horrific injuries by handing her hot tea in a cup with a loose lid.

Deanna Salas-Solano’s dog Alexander was so severely burned that he died at the vet’s office, the Denver Post reported.

That’s when Solas-Solando’s dog Alexander, apparently alerted by her “screaming for help and writing and moaning in pain” jumped onto her lap and was himself scalded.

Solas-Solando is seeking in excess of $75,000 Dollars in damages according to her suit, alleging among other things that the Starbucks barista did not follow company policy in using a double-cup for extra-hot beverages.

The woman claims hot water began spilling from the cup, melting her clothes and burning her abdomen and thighs. Her dog, Alexander, was splashed and burned. She was later taken to the Swedish Medical Center Burn and Reconstructive Unit to undergo skin grafts.

The complaint states Starbucks had a written policy to “double-cup” hot tea. A federal lawsuit filed by Deanna Salas-Solano, 58, contends an employee at the drive-thru window didn’t secure the lid to the “unreasonably hot” 20-ounce tea she ordered in September 2015.

The company said in a statement that it was sympathetic to her injuries but that video evidence contradicts her claims.

‘We look forward to presenting our case in court, ‘ it said in a statement.

It also claimed to possess CCTV footage showing the woman’s dog sitting on her lap as she bought the drink.

KDVR news were granted access to the video, and they say it shows that the cup did indeed have a sleeve and the lid seemed secure.

It’s hard to determine if she spilled the tea because of the cup’s hot temperature or because she was distracted by her cellphone use or if perhaps her dog bumped into the cup while he stood in her lap.

The lawsuit might sound similar to a famous 1994 case involving McDonald’s and hot coffee.

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

Ultimately, the judge reduced the final verdict to $640,000.

In that case, the woman and McDonald’s eventually settled of out court for an undisclosed amount.

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