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Suit: Starbucks 'Extra Hot' Tea Scalded Woman, Killed Dog

14 September 2017

A Denver woman is suing Starbucks over hot tea that she claims caused second degree burns and killed her dog.

In documents obtained by KDVR, Deanna Salas-Solano alleges that during a September 2015 visit to a Denver Starbucks she was handed a cup of hot tea without a hot tea sleeve and an unsecured lid.

These are the fatal burns suffered by a Colorado woman's dog that she alleges in a lawsuit were the result of a Starbucks beverage that was too hot.

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 hot temperature of the cup began to burn her hands.

'She immediately experienced intense pain including on her stomach, legs and lap.

The woman's dog Alexander was in the auto at the time and jumped on her lap when she screamed in pain, causing her to spill more of the drink.

Suit: Starbucks 'Extra Hot' Tea Scalded Woman, Killed Dog
Suit: Starbucks 'Extra Hot' Tea Scalded Woman, Killed Dog

She rushed the dog to an emergency veterinary hospital, but he was unable to be saved and died a "short time" later, the suit said. Salas-Solano underwent skin grafts, the lawsuit said.

Salas-Solano's lawyer said the tea spilled, causing second-degree burns on her abdomen and thighs. The lawsuit claims the tea was unreasonably hot and the Starbucks worker failed to place the cup in a sleeve or make sure the lid was on properly.

"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", said the company in a statement. "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".

It also claimed to possess CCTV footage showing the woman's dog sitting on her lap as she bought the drink. The tea cup in the video does reportedly appear to have a hot cup sleeve, and the lid did appear secure but it isn't conclusive.

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.

Salas-Solano's attorneys originally filed the lawsuit in Denver state court in August, almost two years after the incident.

The legal action seeking more than $75,000 for injuries, emotional distress, and lost wages notes Salas-Solano hadn't ordered an "extra hot" tea.

Suit: Starbucks 'Extra Hot' Tea Scalded Woman, Killed Dog