United Kingdom

Man sues Starbucks after hot tea spilled on his body and caused the 'disfigurement' of his genitals

A new lawsuit launched at Starbucks claimed a California man suffered severe burns to his body, including his genitals, after the lid to his hot tea came undone and it spilled.  

Tommy Piluyev last week filed a lawsuit against Starbucks Corporation and Pactiv Packaging Inc. a manufacturer and distributor of food packaging, related to the injuries he suffered in October 2018.

Court documents viewed by DailyMail.com show the two companies are accused of negligence and product liability.   

The incident happened in October 2018 when Piluyev, then 22, and his family purchased two pick-up grande size Honey Citrus Mint Teas at a Starbucks location in Roseville.

The family had been driving home through the Sacramento-area in their 2018 BMW SUV at the time.  

A lawsuit filed in California this month said  Tommy Piluyev (left), pictured with his wife and child, suffered severe burns after his Starbucks drink spilled on him

'As the window associate reached to the SUV’s window sill to deliver the second sleeved and lidded cup to Mr. Piluyev, the lid lost its seal with the cup lip and dislodged from the top of the cup,' per the lawsuit.

'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.

'Covered in scalding tea, and unable to open his door to escape because he was near the drive-through 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.' 

Piluyev  (pictured) suffered burns on his hands, fingers and other body parts as a result of the hot tea and loose cup life, the lawsuit claimed

Piluyev (pictured) spent 11 days in the University of California, Davis burn unit after the incident happened in October 2018

Piluyev was rushed to the Stutter Roseville Medical Center's emergency room, but by then he had already suffered concerning burns to several body parts.

Photos obtained by CBS 13 show some of the plaintiff's wounds. 

'The emergency team reported partial-thickness burns with blistering across the lower left abdomen, thighs, penis, scrotum, peritoneum and buttocks,' the lawsuit read. 

'Nine of his fingers were also burned to at least the second degree, left more than right.'

The lawsuit filed against Starbucks Corporation and Pactiv Packaging accused them of negligence and product liability 

Hospital staff confirmed that Piluyev suffered from second-degree burns to eight per cent of the injured areas identified.

He was then transferred to University of California, Davis' acute care unit on October 6 and would spend 11 days in the burn unit.

While there, the lawsuit claimed Piluyev could not use his hands or fingers for any purpose, resulting in him becoming completely dependent on medical staff.  

It noted that Piluyev also lost the ability to play the piano and that sexual intimacy is now 'painful and awkward.'

'In the five months post-discharge Mr. Piluyev gradually regained the ability to walk, the ability to sense touch in some of his fingers, the ability to hold his young child, and eventually, to use a computer keyboard. Mr. Piluyev remained unable to play the piano.

'The sensitivity and permanent skin discoloration and disfigurement of Mr. Piluyev’s genitals and inner thighs made eventual intimacy awkward and painful.'

Lawsuit: 'The sensitivity and permanent skin discoloration and disfigurement of Mr. Piluyev’s genitals and inner thighs made eventual intimacy awkward and painful'

The lawsuit also expanded on the negligence and product liability claims made against Starbucks Corporation and Pactiv Packaging.

Attorney Whitney Davis wrote that the defendants 'had knowledge of no less than Eighty (80) lid-off incidents per day involving customers and 'defendants had knowledge of additional complaints and burn incidents from employees, managers and associates concerning defective cups and lids.'

The lawsuit said that Starbucks tea is served between 190F to 200F.  

'Accordingly, the conduct of Defendants STARBUCKS and PACTIV in failing to research, analyze and deploy a reasonably safe alternative solution constituted despicable conduct carried on by the Defendants in conscious disregard of the rights and safety of the Plaintiffs,' it read.

DailyMail.com has reached out to Starbucks Corporation and Pactiv Packaging for further comment.  

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