Starbucks Faces Another Lawsuit Over Drinks Tainted With Chemicals

For the second time in three months, Starbucks has been accused in a lawsuit of serving up a drink with some unwanted extra ingredients. This time,  a customer says she suffered months of medical problems after Starbucks sold her a hot chocolate containing industrial-strength cleaner — and that the coffee giant offered her a free drink as an apology.

A Seattle woman claims in the lawsuit that she stopped by her local Starbucks just before closing time on June 13, 2014 and ordered a grande hot chocolate, The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports.

After receiving her drink and leaving the store, she says a Starbucks employee rushed over to her, telling the customer that the drink — which was the plaintiff claims was mostly consumed by this point — contained “cleaning tablets.” The woman says she returned to the inside of the store, but worker wouldn’t tell her exactly what had made its way into the beverage she’d been drinking.

“Instead, (the worker) simply provided [the woman] with a beverage coupon and sent her on her way,” her attorneys said in the civil complaint.

After feeling ill later that evening, the woman sought medical assistance. According to the lawsuit, she suffered severe injuries to her throat and digestive tract that caused “extreme discomfort and emotional distress.”

A spokesperson for Starbucks tells Seattle PI that the company is reviewing the allegations.

“The safety of our customers is our highest priority,” a spokesperson said. “We take this obligation seriously and are investigating [the plaintiff’s] claims.”

A Utah woman filed a similar lawsuit against Starbucks in July.

According to that lawsuit, which seeks $2 million in damage, the customer claims she experienced severe nerve damage and chronic burning mouth pain after ingesting Urnex, a speciality cleaning product for coffee and espresso equipment.

Woman says Starbucks served her tainted drink, then offered her a freebie [Seattle Post-Intelligencer]