Deanna Salas-Solano, a 58 year old woman from Colorado is suing Starbucks for injuries and the death of her dog.
While ordering a grande hot tea through the drive thru window of a Starbucks in Denver, Solano claims that her dog, Alexander, was in her passenger seat as the employee handed the drink off. The lid was not put on properly and came loose, and as the drink spilled over the top, it caused second degree burns to her legs and stomach. She cried out, and Alexander hopped into her lap and suffered burns from the drink as well. She took Alexander to an emergency vet, but nothing could be done to save him and he died shortly after.
According to her lawyers, the temperature of the tea was “unreasonably hot,” although she did not order her drink “extra hot.” They pointed out that even though it’s Starbucks’ policy to serve hot teas double-cupped, it’s also Starbucks policy to time their drive thru employees, which puts pressure on them to keep the line moving. This may account for them cutting corners or outright forgetting things (like double cups or hot sleeves) in their rush to get cars out of the window area, putting customer safety second to turnaround time.
Starbucks has released a statement refuting the claims made by Solano, saying that video from the drive thru shows that Alexander was already in her lap at the time that her drink was handed to her. “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.”
Salas-Solano is seeking $100,000 from Starbucks for their failure to operate safely and responsibly, resulting in the death of Alexander and her painful burns.