Woman burnt by Starbucks tea loses $3m lawsuit

A 78-year-old woman from the US has reportedly lost her legal battle against coffee corporation Starbucks, after it was ruled that the company was not liable for an accident with one of their hot drinks which resulted in severe burns.

In what has been called a ‘frivolous’ product liability lawsuit, Rachel Moltner from Manhattan was seeking $3 million in damages from Starbucks after she burnt herself on a cup of boiling tea.

She says that in an Upper East Side outlet, she was served the hot drink in a double cup – a common practice used by coffee shops to serve very hot drinks to customers – but that the second (outer) cup was defective.

When she tried to open the lid of the cup, Ms Moltner alleges that the boiling hot tea spilt and burnt her left leg and foot. She later required a skin graft for the burns, and alleges that she also suffered from bed sores and herniated discs after a stay in hospital.

However, Ms Molten has now been unsuccessful in her lawsuit, as the court rejected her claims that Starbucks were liable for her injuries.

Although Starbucks will still have had to pay legal expenses (presumably using professional insurance cover for commercial legal expenses), the outcome of the case could have been a lot worse for the corporation. For example, McDonalds had to pay out $2.86 million in 1994 to a woman in New Mexico who burnt herself on some of their coffee.

Leave a comment