Starbucks Hot Tea Lawsuit

A woman has sued Starbucks for serving “unreasonably hot” tea, causing her second degree burns. Reuters has the article which includes reader comments. All of the commentators are rushing to judgment, claiming either the woman is pond scum (95%) or that Starbucks was “clearly negligent.” Adding to the fun, the Plaintiff does not have a European name. So we get bonus racism and xenophobia in addition to the inaccurate conclusions of law. It is a win-win situation for all.

Gun to my head, I suspect this is not a legitimate claim. But who knows? Did Starbucks know or have reason to know that it was serving a liquid that was muchshutterstock_167376992 hotter than industry standards require?

The immediate rush to judgment (people, didn’t Johnnie Cochran teach us anything?) and people’s abilities to make breathtaking leaps of logic/faith with absolutely no evidence is always disconcerting.

Updated:
  • Starbucks should know, at least the ones near me should. The way coffee bars in general serve tea is extremely unsafe. Instead of brewing the tea, the pour near boiling water into a cup with a teabag and hand it to you. I myself have nearly dropped the container on the floor from taking it in my hand.
    The lid is very tight and the cup is very full. There is a tiny hole in the top, but you cannot add anything to the tea or let the tea cool properly enough to drink with the lid on and it is nearly impossible to get the lid off without burning yourself. It’s just a bad, bad way to serve tea. I am not in favor of lawsuits in general, but maybe this will get Starbucks and other coffee bars to finally listen. I have always felt the way they serve tea is very careless and irresponsible. They are obviously not tea drinkers. I do not go to Starbucks anymore unless I am going to order iced tea.

  • Adriana Perez

    I was just burned and have second degree burns out in Seattle, WA. Sounds like they are still not fixing the problem.

  • This is absurd. Everyone knows that coffee is hot. There is no valid personal injury law claim!

  • Anonymous

    You gotta be a total moron or a just someone that is looking for a quick buck.

    Hot Coffee/Hot Tea is HOT!! So be careful.

    If you want Hot tea/ hot coffee that is not hot then order it COLD you idiots.

  • Ron Miller

    Anonymous, I think everyone knows that coffee and tea can be hot. I don’t think that is an issue.

    Again, I doubt this is a viable lawsuit. But I don’t think it is ever as easy as saying these drinks are hot period.

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