A Roseville, California man is suing Starbucks because a drive-thru cashier spilled piping hot tea onto his hands and lap, causing third-degree burns on his hands and genitals and, he claims, making sex painful and awkward.
Tommy Piluyev was in a Starbucks drive-thru in 2018 when his hot tea was dropped on the window sill of the drive-thru window. The impact caused the lid to come dislodged and the scalding drink spilled over his hands, stomach, and pelvis, burning his exposed skin and burning him through his clothes as well. (As far as we know he wasn’t driving pantsless.)
The then 22-year-old ended up spending 11 days in the burn unit at the UC Davis Medical Center.
Along with being unable to have sex comfortably thanks to his genital scalding, the burns on his legs made it so difficult for Piluyev to walk that he practically had to re-learn how to do it.
Starbucks released a statement in response to the suit.
“We are currently evaluating the claim. Our partners take great pride in ensuring our beverages are crafted with care and delivered to customers safely. We take our responsibility to provide a safe environment seriously and will continue to do so.”
Piluyev’s lawsuit is against both Starbucks and Pactiv Packaging, who makes lids and containers for the coffee company. The suit alleges that Pactiv Packaging and Starbucks knew about the packaging being faulty based on roughly 80 complaints made by Starbucks employees.
According to Piluyev’s attorney, her client still needs laser treatments and plastic surgery to repair his injuries.
A couple extra thoughts:
1. It’s unfortunate this happened but it’s always nice to have a reminder that fast food coffee is served WAY too hot so that when you go through a drive thru to get a latte or whatever you remain vigilant and aware while making that tenuous handoff. You let your guard down and the next thing you know your scrotum has melted to your thigh.
2. Rooting hard for Piluyev here. Even if the lids weren’t faulty, all of these drinks are served irresponsibly hot. They’re undrinkable for like twenty minutes. It’s a cup of acid when they hand it to you.