Family Sues Starbucks After Taking a Sip of Coffee and Discovering Blood in Cup


A Starbucks store in San Bernardino, Calif. is in hot water over the way one family says its staff handled a particularly disgusting addition to a drink.

As KCBS reported, Amanda Vice plans to take the company to court roughly two years after she and her daughter, Payton, ordered a drink and found blood in their cup.

“She was licking the whipped cream where it had been sitting on top,” the mother said.

Upon further inspection, other members of the family noticed the same thing in their drinks.

“It was on the inside of the rim of my Frappuccino,” Vice said.

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According to the Washington Post, documents released by the Frish Law Group indicate Vice and her 2-year-old daughter had been sharing the cup when another family member became suspicious.

Her mother-in-law reportedly noticed an “odd, metallic smell” emanating from her own drink, leading Vice to check the cup from which she and Peyton had been drinking.

“The blood was smeared on the inside and outside rim of the cup,” according to the lawsuit.

While that experience was upsetting enough, she claims the store’s manager compounded the situation by offering an insufficient remedy when confronted with the discovery.

Does this family have a valid case against Starbucks?

According to Vice, she called the location and learned that a barista did sustain a laceration during her shift that day.

Aside from agreeing to keep that employee away from drink orders until her cut healed, Vice said she was insulted to only receive an offer for a week of free drinks.

“I thought it was sort of belittling,” she said.

The entire ordeal has reportedly caused Vice and others in her family added stress as they struggle with ordering anything prepared by a food-service worker.

“We’re constantly double-checking everything because now I don’t trust, I don’t trust anybody,” Vice said.

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Offended by the offer of a few free drinks, Vice said her concern was not the cost but the safety of her daughter and anyone else who might have come into contact with the employee’s blood.

She reportedly requested that the company test the injured employee for communicable diseases, but was denied.

“I thought maybe I’d be a little more at peace if they would have her tested, the one who was bleeding,” she explained.

In addition to ensuring her family was safe, Vice said she also wants to see Starbucks change its policies so that other customers do not make such a discovery in their cups.

Without an agreement on those key issues, she contacted an attorney to file a suit against the company. That lawyer, Stan Pekler, said Starbucks had every opportunity to avoid a legal move by his client.

“The intention was always to try and resolve this with Starbucks,” he said. “And had they acted in a responsible way, we wouldn’t be here today.”

For its part, the coffee giant is offering only a preliminary statement at this time.

“We are aware of this claim that allegedly took place in 2016, and are prepared to present our case in court,” the company said.

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Chris Agee is an American journalist with more than 15 years of experience in a wide range of newsrooms.
Chris Agee is an American journalist with more than 15 years of experience in a variety of newsroom settings. After covering crime and other beats for newspapers and radio stations across the U.S., he served as managing editor at Western Journalism until 2017. He has also been a regular guest and guest host on several syndicated radio programs. He lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with his wife and son.
Texas Press Association, Best News Writing - 2012
Bachelor of Arts, Journalism - Averett University
Professional Memberships
Online News Association
Topics of Expertise
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