A woman from Denver, Colorado, has filed a lawsuit against the popular coffee chain Starbucks for causing her horrific burns and allegedly killing her dog.

Deanna Salas-Solano, 58, said she was served hot tea in a cup with a loose lid in a Starbucks drive thru. She claimed she had to get a surgery done on her torso and thighs to cover up the scars she suffered. The incident took place on Sep. 27, 2015.

According to Solano, her dog Alexander was in the car while she was getting her tea. The dog he jumped on her causing Solano to spill the hot tea on herself and her dog. She demanded $75,000 in her lawsuit for disfigurement, severe burns, emotional distress, lost wages and physical impairment.

The lawsuit claims that Alexander burned his fur in the process and later died in a veterinary hospital. Solano underwent skin grafts at the Swedish Medical Center Burn and Reconstructive Unit. Originally filed in Denver state court in August, the lawsuit was later transferred to U.S. District Court in Denver on Wednesday. It said Solono ordered a Venti hot tea which was served to her without a hot sleeve and the lid was not fastened properly. 

Graphic photographs submitted by Solano in the court to cement her claim were published by the Daily Mail. The pictures show her suffering from second-degree burns and blistered skin on her thighs, torso and at the back of her leg. 

Her lawyers — Sean Leventhal, Jonathan Sar, and Brian Pushchak — have claimed the drink was too hot and was not served properly. They further added Starbucks outlets have been warned in the past for serving steaming drinks without hot sleeves or lids, Denver Post reported.  

The lawsuit also mentions the Starbucks policies on how hot the tea should be when it is served. The policies also talk about using double-cup in case the tea is too hot. However, employees are also graded on how quickly they serve the beverage, which possibly leads to cases of negligence. 


Starbucks has denied the allegations saying, “We have video evidence that clearly contradicts the claims made by the plaintiff and believe they are without merit,” the company said in a prepared statement. 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.” 

This is not the first time that Starbucks has been sued for serving piping hot coffee to its customers. Back in 2014, Joanne Mogavero suffered from a similar incident at a Starbucks drive-thru in Jacksonville, Florida, where she suffered scars because her coffee wasn’t served properly. Mogavero won the suit and was awarded $100,492 — $15,492 for medical bills and an additional $85,000 for pain and suffering.

After a Starbucks representative testified the company receives 80 complaints about lids per month, a Duval County jury found Starbucks 80 percent at fault for the spill.

A similar incident was reported in Florida in 2015 when another customer, Katrina Day, claimed the lid of the cup, in which she was served coffee, was not fully secured by the employees. Day also stated that she had suffered severe burns to her back, legs, and buttocks when the coffee spilled. Dey's attorney filed a lawsuit against Starbucks but the coffee giants kept mum on the matter, reports claimed.