A family is suing Starbucks after allegedly finding a barista’s blood smeared on their coffee cups.
The Washington Post reports that Amanda Vice and her daughter, who was two years old at the time, were sharing a Java Chip Frappuccino on weekend in 2016 when the family claims to have discovered traces of blood on her cup.
A lawsuit filed with the San Bernardino County Superior Court states that “the blood was smeared on the inside and outer rim of the cup.” The suit, which was released by the Firsch Law Group, added that Vice, her daughter and her mother-in-law “anxiously examined their hands for blood,” but that “nobody was bleeding.”
Starbucks offered US$1,000 to each family member after the incident was reported, but their attorney Stan Pekler said in a statement that “it does not begin to compensate the family for suffered injuries and damages for which Starbucks is liable.”
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After the family noticed the blood, they reported the incident to that Starbucks location, where the manager offered free drinks for a week. However, the statement from the attorney’s office said that the family implored the employee to get tested to determine if they were HIV positive, or had any other disease that could be transferred through contact with bodily fluids.
The manager reportedly agreed to this, but the employee was not required to take the blood test. The family underwent several blood tests following the incident, which all came back negative.
Starbucks spokesperson Reggie Borges told the Washington Post Thursday that the company was “incredibly surprised” by the lawsuit, “especially since we’ve been working with the family for over the past two years to figure out what took place.”
Starbucks has been confronted with several lawsuits over the years, some of which involved under-filling lattes and serving drinks that were too hot. In addition, a suit was brought in 2010 by the Council for Education and Research on Toxins which sought to require coffee makers, including Starbucks, to inform customers about the risk of ingesting the potentially cancer-causing chemical acrylamide.
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The Washington Post also reports that earlier this year, a Starbucks location in Atlanta was forced to close after a false claim alleging that a black employee had been defiling white customers’ food and drinks went viral on social media.
Starbucks said in a statement that they are “prepared to present our case in court.”
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