The Scoop on Food

California Family Sues Starbucks After Discovering Blood on Drink Cups They Shared With Toddler

"The family suffered emotional injuries because a beverage sold by Starbucks contained human blood, which is clearly a manufacturing defect. "

Starbucks Costumer Finds Blood In Cold Drink Courtesy of Stan Pekler for Frish Law Group

Trigger warning to those sipping on some Starbucks coffee: A local California family has filed a lawsuit against the beloved coffee chain after discovering a barista’s blood had contaminated two of their beverages. At the time, Amanda Vice and her two-year-old son had been sharing a Java Chip Frappuccino when they discovered blood smeared on the inside of their cup. It wasn’t until days later that Vice’s husband, Louis, found blood on the outside label of a cup he had left in his car. Talk about cringe-worthy.

Starbucks Costumer Finds Blood In Hot Drink Courtesy of Stan Pekler for Frish Law Group

According to the lawsuit, released by the Frish Law Group, “The blood was smeared on the inside and outside rim of the cup.” The family checked to see if anyone was bleeding, and then realized it had to have come from the barista.

According to the lawsuit, Vice’s mother-in-law was the first to notice an “odd, metallic smell” on her own cup before the other discoveries were made.

Starbucks Costumer Finds Blood In Hot Drink 2 Courtesy of Stan Pekler for Frish Law Group

Although the incident took place back in 2016, the San Bernardino family is now suing for negligence, emotional distress, battery, and assault after multiple failed attempts at working with Starbucks to find a resolution.

Upon locating the blood, the Vice family spoke with the supervisors of that Starbucks multiple times. According to the lawsuit, the store manager offered apologies while confirming she had, “located the bleeding employee and removed the employee from the sales floor.” The family had no interest in free drinks, all they wanted was for the barista to undergo a blood test, according to the Washington Post. They were told Starbucks couldn’t force an employee to do so.

After taking multiple blood tests for HIV and other possible diseases, the family was relieved to learn that all original tests and retests came out negative, the law firm confirmed.  

According to a phone interview Thursday with the Post, Stan Pekler, the family’s attorney said, “Mrs. Vice is primarily concerned about her toddler.” He continued, “They were very worried for her safety, as well as their own.”

Pekler also confirmed that Starbucks offered each member of the family $1,000 for compensation, but after being unsympathetic to the situation at the start, the family decided to move forward with the lawsuit before the two-year statute of limitations on personal-injury had expired.

The Post reported on Thursday that Starbucks spokesman Reggie Borges said the company is “incredibly surprised” by the family’s legal action, “especially since we’ve been working with the family over the past two years.”

I guess we will all have to stay tuned for the final verdict—but can we all just come clean on the burning question being avoided here: Why is a 2-year-old drinking a Java Chip Frappuccino? That may be beside the point, but we are happy to hear the Vice family is healthy, and can hopefully put this emotional time behind them in the near future.