Starbucks Defeats New York Woman’s Tea Burn Lawsuit

By | November 3, 2010

  • November 3, 2010 at 12:35 pm
    Ins Grl NY says:
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    I will preface this with the knowledge that we should all be very careful when purchasing and drinking any hot liquid. That being said, Why is the tea so hot that it can cause a burn so severe you need a skin graft? I purchased tea at an airport a few months back and they double cupped it and warned me that it was hot. No kidding either because it was burning my hand through both cups. I don’t really understand the need for this kind of heat.

  • November 3, 2010 at 12:36 pm
    Belinda says:
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    It’s about time the door got slammed on the people who injure themselves with everyday products. The reality is that a woman 76 years old doesn’t have much strength in her arthritic hands, and is probable not too coordinated either. I doubt this was the firs time this wealthy old pus bag from the “upper east side” purchased tea from Starbucks. The judge & jury got this one right.

  • November 3, 2010 at 12:39 pm
    Regis says:
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    Answer. Ever see the skin on a 76 year old woman? It thin and dry and crack/tears/burns easily. Retailers have to find a middle ground on beverage temperature. Not hot enought…people _itch. Too hot….people _itch. Coffe and tea are HOT beverages.

  • November 3, 2010 at 12:42 pm
    caffiend says:
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    Tea doesn’t steep well at all if you use lukewarm water. Truely hot water (read boiling) is required to pull all the flavor and color out of the tea. Same goes with coffee. If you pay attention next time that you brew a cup of coffee you’ll notice how HOT the water is while it’s brewing.

    Alternately, next time you want a cup of tea or coffee just use hot water from the tap to brew it, and let me know how it goes.

  • November 3, 2010 at 12:45 pm
    Ins Grl NY says:
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    I actually use hot water from the tap often because if I feel like drinking a cup of tea, I don’t really want to wait hours for it to cool off enough to drink it. Please don’t anyone get me wrong. I believe the correct decision was made here.

  • November 3, 2010 at 12:48 pm
    JP says:
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    I just got a terrible headache from eating my ice cream too fast. Can I sue? They should have told me not to eat it too fast. I’ve got pain and suffering here!

  • November 3, 2010 at 1:01 am
    m & m says:
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    Did you know you can now buy tea bags that steep in cold water? They work just fine.
    That having been said, good for the courts.
    Since when do we have to warn anyone over the age of 2 years that liquid in a cup could possible spill and burn them….

  • November 3, 2010 at 1:09 am
    Cassandra says:
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    The article notes that aside from the iniitial burn from the hot tea, the lady was hospitalized and then suffered bedsores and a herniated dics from a fall from te hospital bed.

    I assume that the lawsuit expected Starbucks to also pay for those two additional injuries. WHY? Isn’t this carrying the “proximate” cause a little far? Shouldn’t the hospital have some if not all responsibility certainly for the bedsores as well as the fall?

    I am asking a serious question here…why does the initial injury become responsible for all that ocmes after?

    Please enlighten me…I am very interested in the answer.

  • November 3, 2010 at 1:09 am
    Dennis says:
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    “wealthy old pus bag …..” LMAO

  • November 3, 2010 at 1:14 am
    J Amp says:
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    …i just didn’t know sticking a cup, with frozen stuff inside, between my legs, that i would have frozen my chahunga’s off. Where do I find an idiot lawyer to file my suit?

  • November 3, 2010 at 1:32 am
    KEEPITREAL says:
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    WOW – STARBUCKS NEARLY “GOT BURNED” ON THIS BOGUS CLAIM !!

    BET THE RIDICULOUS ATTORNEY WHO TOOK THIS DOG IS READY TO “BLOW OFF SOME STEAM” AFTER THIS RULING — LMFAO

  • November 3, 2010 at 1:40 am
    InsLawyer says:
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    The arguement is that but for the injury she suffered at the hands of the evil baristas, she would not have been in the hospital to suffer the subsequent injuries.

  • November 3, 2010 at 1:44 am
    Monica says:
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    But for her clumsiness and carelessness, she wouldn’t have spilled the tea necessitating the hospital stay that resulted in her falling out of bed. Anyway, falling out of bed has absolutely nothing to do with a leg burn. She’s OLD.

  • November 3, 2010 at 1:51 am
    Cassandra says:
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    I get it and s I suspected. However, isn’t this imputing too much onto the initial injury? What about the intervening causes? If properly hadnled, a 76 year old with a leg skin graft should not get bedsores. With proper mmonitoring or personal care she should not have fallen.

    Why do we let these huge daisy chains of unforeseen events all flow right back to the original injury? There are CLEARLY intervening negligences that occur either by the hospital or by the claimant herself.

  • November 3, 2010 at 2:00 am
    InsLawyer says:
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    True. At that point the coffee co. can bring in the hospital, however, the basic argument that had the old lady (however uncoordinated she may be) not have been given the defective tea, she would not have been esxposed to the medical malpractice at the hospital…

    The itervening or supervening cause argument may be mad in court, but it doesn’t stop the plaintiff from bringing the suit or stop the insurer from having to defend it.

  • November 3, 2010 at 2:13 am
    Gene Pool says:
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    I know not popular against Granny, but would Starbucks PLEASE file to recover their defense costs against the plantiff’s attorney? Let’s make it looser pays — either way.

  • November 3, 2010 at 3:23 am
    Joker says:
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    Let me just throw a few points out if I may.

    -Starbucks is overpriced and I despise those idiots who go there w/ their laptops and pretend they are being productive members of society.

    -If you’re too ignorant to understand that HOT TEA is…drumroll….HOT, then you should be tethered to a jungle gym and forced to wear a helmet and kept out of the general public so you can’t harm yourself or anyone around you.

    -Venti? Has anyone else seen the movie Roll Models?

  • November 3, 2010 at 3:28 am
    Joker says:
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    I don’t know why, but this story of an old “pus bag” as someone referred to her as, reminded me of this hilarious, yet very random video.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQnZsJIJfIw

  • November 3, 2010 at 3:40 am
    Ace says:
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    Two great questions from the responders.
    1. Why is coffee/tea purchased at Mcd’s. Seven-11, etc., so HOT!!. When I make coffee/tea at home, it is not scolding, and it taste fine. I can drink it ASAP. I don’t have to wait 3 or 4 minutes to barely get my tongue to taste it.

    2. These cases are why people hate lawyers. Why take this case? Other than you hope the “Large Corp.” will just settle. Tort reform is the only way to get rid of these leeches. I love how they respond with the legal jargon we all learned in Business Law. Lawyers smell. They are just a huge drain on the resources of business. They do not add to the economy with new products or ideas. They just leech. (and their all liberals)

  • November 3, 2010 at 3:45 am
    Trish says:
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    Besides the fact that the tea/coffee really does need to be boiling to bring out all the flavor, the water must be kept HOT HOT HOT to avoid health issues. Boiling water is going to eliminate most bacteria issues. If lukewarm water was sitting in those canisters, I am sure bacteria would be building up. It is probably a Health Dept. violation too.

  • November 3, 2010 at 3:47 am
    Ed T. says:
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    Joker,
    You meant the movie ‘Role Models”. I did see the movie and thought of it immediately when I saw the word “Venti”. Good call! Paul Rudd & Elizbeth Banks.

  • November 3, 2010 at 3:56 am
    Insurance Geek says:
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    *camera cuts into middle of a scene*

    Bugs Bunny: Here’s your Hot Tea, be careful!….let’s see….Hot tea…hmmm…do you suppose you could get burned by it?

    Dumb Vulture: duh, nope, nope, nope, uhhhh, um, duh…I don’t think so…but if I do, I uh um gonna sue…

    Shyster Lawyer (Edward G Robinson): say, I said say Mr. Vulture, you look like a fine stand up sort of fellow (or old bag), I’ll take that case! *wiggles eyebrows devilishly to camera*

    Bugs Bunny: why I oughta…*Bugs and Shyster Lawyer mix it up; then chase ensues to courtroom – Bugs is chased by Dumb Vulture and Shyster Lawyer*

    Judge(aka Foghorn Leghorn): I say fellas, what’s a, what’s a goin on here?!?

    Dumb Vulture: *sing songing* I’m uh gonna sue, I’m uh gonna sue…

    Judge (Foghorn Leghorn): *whispers to camera* I say, when they were handin’ out the smarts, this boy was standin’ in the wrong line…

    Judge (Foghorn Leghorn): I say son, *bops Dumb Vulture in the head* son, you can’t sue for stupidity!!! Case dismissed!!! Ibida ibida…THAT’S ALL FOLKS!!!!

    *fade to black while Looney Tunes theme song plays in the background*

  • November 3, 2010 at 5:15 am
    Cassandra says:
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    Cute, Geek. But I am not sure the judge is right…after all, stupidity appears to be a covered peril in various coverage lines such as homeowners, property, and WC, to name a few!

  • November 3, 2010 at 6:00 am
    Insurance Geek says:
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    Cassandra, point is – people clog up our legal system with stupid lawsuits so they can get rich quick – enough already – be responsible for yourself…

  • November 4, 2010 at 10:08 am
    smartypants says:
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    you need to research an insurance/legal concept called Efficient Proximate Cause of loss. this doctrine would be used to examine whether there is a causal chain from her being burned by hot tea and any injury suffered as a result of the chain of events, leading to the hospital stay. But before you can plead that, remember that you must first show you suffered a covered cause of loss, which in this case was denied.

  • November 4, 2010 at 10:16 am
    smartypants says:
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    That was BRILLIANT! It should be on the Saturday morning cartoons so all our kiddies would grow up with an idea about how lawsuits should not rely on passing the liability buck to someone else.

  • November 5, 2010 at 6:58 am
    Heather says:
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    Finally a court that will not allow ever Tom Dick and Harry to win “pacify me” law suits! Here here!

    News flash… Hot tea… Well its hot. Just the same way it is when you make it at home. You could get burned! If something is double cupped there is no doubt in my mind that is not only Hot… Its very, very hot.

    Im sorry the woman got burned, but that really isn’t Starbucks fault at all.

    AWESOME out come.

  • November 8, 2010 at 10:39 am
    Chad Balaamaba says:
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    Because some of our customers don’t understand that Hot Tea is in fact Hot, we’ve developed a new see-thru cup for that popular summertime treat: SUN TEA!!!!

    Simply buy our specially developed water, place your tea bag in the water and place your cup of tea somewhere in the sun…a window sill, dashboard, sidewalk, etc. And in 90 minutes (could be less on a really hot day)…bing bang boom: you have tea; not hot and not cool. Now you can decide how to drink it!

    Add ice for a delicious refeshing summertime cooldown, or microwave in our specifially designed microwavable cut (available for an extra 19 cents with purchase of our Sun Tea product) to your desired temperature!

    Yum; hot tea, heat it to a boil if you like, or simply zap it for a few second if you like luke warm tea…you the boss…you decide!

    For a short time, we’re offering promotional t-shirts with the slogan “I teabag in the Sun–Starbucks SunTea!”
    (limited quantities available)

    (void where prohibited by common law, common sense, or lack of interest)



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