Woman Sues Starbucks After ‘Wrong Drink’ Gave Her First Degree Burns

by : Emily Brown on : 26 Aug 2021 14:22
Woman Sues Starbucks After ‘Wrong Drink’ Gave Her First Degree BurnsPA Images

A Starbucks customer is suing the coffee company after her efforts to return a wrong drink allegedly caused her first-degree burns. 

In the lawsuit, filed against Starbucks in Harris County District Court, Texas, on August 19, customer Mary Simms alleges she was in one of the company’s drive-thrus in Tomball on April 14 when a barista told her she had been given the wrong drink.


Simms is said to have been paying for her order when she heard of the mix-up and stopped to hand the drink back to the barista, at which point the lid of the cup came off and ‘scalding hot’ coffee spilled into the customer’s lap.

Starbucks sign (PA Images)PA Images

The lawsuit alleges that as ‘a result of the spill, [Simms] sustained first and second-degree burns causing severe personal injuries and damages’.

It further accuses Starbucks of failing to warn Simms of ‘the unreasonably dangerous condition created by the failing lid, hot water and/or liquid of the coffee,’ as well as failing to properly train and supervise baristas, safely secure lids on top of drinks, and keep the drive-thru safe, Insider reports.


Simms is seeking up to $75,000 to cover damages including medical expenses, lost wages and ‘past and future loss of enjoyment of life’ through the lawsuit.

In a statement, a Starbucks spokesperson said the company was aware of the lawsuit and that it was investigating the claims.

Starbucks shopfront (Pixabay)Pixabay

They said: ‘We take our responsibility to provide a safe environment seriously, and our partners [employees] take great pride in ensuring our beverages are crafted with care and delivered to customers safely.’


According to the Charlotte Observer, the spokesperson also said all Starbucks drinks ‘are served at a temperature within industry standards’, adding: ‘Our partners take great care to ensure the beverages are safely handed off to the customer.’

Starbucks has been on the receiving end of a number of lawsuits over the years, including one last year in which a California man claimed to have been burned when a cup of hot tea overturned on the drive-thru window, and another suit in 2016 which accused Starbucks of failing to deliver the advertised number of fluid ounces in a customer’s drink.

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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University and went on to contribute to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming Senior Journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news, trending stories and longer form features.

Topics: News, coffee, Lawsuit, Now, Starbucks, Texas


  1. Insider

    A woman says she got 1st-degree burns after a Starbucks barista gave her the wrong drink and she tried to return it at a drive-thru. She's suing the company.