Family sues Starbucks, alleging California store served blood-tainted drinks


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A Redlands family claims a bleeding Starbucks barista tainted their drinks with blood in 2016 and left them with gnawing fears that they might contract a blood-borne disease, according to a lawsuit filed in San Bernardino County Superior Court.

Blood tests for communicable diseases, including HIV, initially proved negative, but the lawsuit claims family members experienced “extreme distress” for months, including from the coffee giant’s seeming lack of care about their well being, according to the suit filed Jan. 30.

An emailed statement from the Starbucks media relations team stated, “We are aware of this claim, that allegedly took place in 2016, and are prepared to present our case in court.”

The suit says Amanda and Louis Vice, his mother, Rhonda Agles, and the Vices’ then 2-year-old daughter, Payton Vice, ordered drinks at the Starbucks in downtown San Bernardino at 601 W. 2nd St. on Feb. 6, 2016.

Agles noticed a red smear on the side of the white cup, along with an “odd metallic smell,” and she and Amanda Vice noticed a similar stain on the outside and inside of another cup and then knew it was blood, according to the lawsuit.

They ordered a venti hot white chocolate mocha topped by whipped cream, a grande java chip frappuccino and a venti ice water, the suit says.

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After confirming that no one in the family was bleeding, Amanda Vice and Agles each called the Starbucks location to report the incident and confirmed that there was an employee who was bleeding but had since been removed from the sales floor.

The store manager offered free drinks for a week, but Agles “declined the insensitive offer,” according to the lawsuit, and the family pushed for a blood test for the employee.

“The manager agreed and stated that defendant Starbucks would pay for the barista to get tested,” according to the suit.

A customer service representative at the corporate office subsequently told Agles they could not force the barista to take a blood test, the suit alleges.

Starbucks offered $1,000 to each family member for their troubles, according to a law firm news release about the lawsuit.

The lawsuit seeks damages based on a failure to warn, …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Business

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