A California family is suing Starbucks after family members, including a 2-year-old girl, drank drinks that they say were contaminated with a barista’s blood, KTLA (Los Angeles) is reporting.
On Wednesday the Vice family of Redlands announced, through their attorney, that they’re suing the Seattle-based coffee chain for unspecified damages for the 2016 incident.
Back on February 6, 2016, Amanda Vice, her husband Louis Vice, and his mother, Rhonda Agles, went to a San Bernardino location to pick up some drinks for themselves and the family back home. They didn’t notice anything amiss when they first brought the drinks — whatever might have stained the sides of the cups would have been masked by the dark color of the beverages.
Once the drinks were finished, however, they noticed a red stain on the inside of the cups, as well as a “strong metallic smell.” What’s worse, another cup had a similar stain — and it was the cup that the family’s 2-year-old had been drinking from. Just seconds before the family noticed the stain, the little girl had been licking the lid and eating whipped cream from the cup, says Amanda Vice.
“Once we drank it, then we could see on the inside of the rim that there was blood.”
— KTLA (@KTLA) February 8, 2018
How Starbucks Responded
When the family called to complain, according to the lawsuit, they learned that one of the employees working that day had been bleeding, and that he or she had been “removed from the floor.” That was of little comfort to Louis Vice.
“My wife and my baby just drank someone’s blood. It was bad.”
At first, the manager offered the family free drinks for a week. When that wasn’t enough, according to Fox News, the were offered $1,000 each.
Needles, Blood Tests, And Stress
The family wanted the company to make the barista undergo blood tests to make sure she wasn’t infected with any communicable diseases. The manager agreed that that was a good idea, but the family claims the company never followed through.
The family members themselves have all since been tested for HIV and other blood-borne illnesses — multiple times, according to their suit.
“The family was then left to schedule their own blood tests, causing extreme distress for the parents as they had to watch their daughter be poked with a needle and agonizingly wait for the results.”
The family is seeking unspecified damages from the chain, alleging negligence, breach of express warranty, breach of implied warranty, fraud, intentional infliction of emotional distress, battery, assault, negligent hiring, and negligent training and supervision.
Editor’s note: Starbucks’ press department reached out to the Inquisitr with the following statement.
“We are aware of this claim, that allegedly took place in 2016, and are prepared to present our case in court.”