A family has filed a lawsuit against Starbucks after they say they were served drinks at a San Bernardino store containing blood. According to a CBS Los Angeles news report, the store admitted one of their baristas had cut themselves and offered to pay for free drinks. Amanda Vice told CBS that she and her daughter visited the store in 2016. When the toddler was licking the whipped cream, Vice saw that there was blood inside and outside their cups. It was on the inside rim of her drink, Vice said.
Waiting for HIV Test Results
When she called Starbucks, they confirmed to her that a barista had been bleeding and they agreed to have her stop making drinks. They also, she said, offered her free drinks for the week, which she found “belittling.” Vice said she was worried about her health and that of her daughter and worried if ingesting the blood could sicken them. Since the store refused to test the employee, she turned to an attorney. Both she and her daughter, then 2 years old, took HIV tests.
The first test came back negative, but they had to do another one six months later to make sure they were clean. Their lawyers said this experience caused the family stress, nervousness, grief and anxiety for several months as they awaited the second round of test results. Starbucks later upped their offer to $1,000 for each family member who consumed the tainted drink. But the family declined that offer and decided to file a lawsuit seeking unspecified damages. Vice says she hopes the company will make changes so this type of an incident is never repeated.
The Issue of Tainted Food
Establishments such as restaurants and coffee shops have a duty and a responsibility to serve food that is safe for consumption. They are also required to adhere to food preparation processes that take into account the consumers food is contaminated with pathogens or other substances that should not be there, these establishments can be held accountable for their negligence.
If you or a loved one has been sickened by tainted food, you may be able to seek compensation for damages including but not limited to medical expenses such as cost of diagnostic tests, hospitalization, cost of medication, etc. You may also be able to seek damages for lost wages, pain and suffering and emotional distress. An experienced California personal injury lawyer will be able to help you better understand your legal rights and options.