Man Sues Starbucks After Suffering Burns In Drive-Thru
This entire story leads to an unfortunate circumstance on both sides. A typical morning run for coffee has lead to a hefty court battle and burns one man says still effect him nearly two years later.
But before we dig too deep, let me set up the story for you. In 2018, Tommy Piluyev and his wife were making a routine trip to Starbucks when they pulled up to the order window. The then 22-year-old made his payment and reached for his order of two Honey Citrus Mint teas in the second sleeved/lidded cup, when he says the lid came off - spilling hot tea everywhere.
According to Today, the lawsuit reads as follows:
“Hot tea spilled on Mr. Piluyev’s left hand during the transfer, the cup overturned on the window sill and hot tea poured onto Mr. Piluyev’s hands, stomach and pelvic area," the lawsuit reads. “Covered in scalding tea, and unable to open his door to escape because he was near the drive-thru window, Mr. Piluyev quickly put the SUV into gear and accelerated from the window. He pulled into an adjacent parking lot, hastily exited the vehicle stripped off his sweat pants.”
If you're squeamish, this is the time you want to look away. If you're brave enough, you can see photos of Piluyev's injuries here.
Piluyev and his wife, Liudmila Maftey, rushed to a nearby emergency room where he learned that he had suffered “partial-thickness burns with blistering across the lower left abdomen, thighs, penis, scrotum, peritoneum and buttocks."
He also experienced burns on nine fingers.
The injuries caused Piluyev to spend 11 days in a local hospital's burn unit.
The couple is now seeking in excess of $75,000 in damages from Starbucks and Pactiv Packaging Inc., a brand the lawsuit says made the coffee chain's cups and lids, for product liability and negligence.
The lawsuit continues to state that in the 5 months following his discharge from the hospital, Piluyev had to learn how to walk again, regain feeling in his fingers, build the strength to hold his child, and use a computer keyboard. The couple also says the injuries impacted their emotional bond.
As for Starbucks, they don't initially seem to think there was any wrongdoing by their employee. A spokesperson for Starbucks told TODAY that the company investigated Piluyev’s claim in 2018 and found the handoff to be successful.