A San Antonio woman is suing Starbucks, claiming that the lid fell off a cup of hot tea she ordered and it burned her when the tea spilled into her lap, 1200 WOAI news reports.
Christina Sturgess did not state in her lawsuit how much in damages she wants from the Seattle based coffee company, but the lawsuit claims she wants Starbucks to pay up not only for the usual medical bills and pain and suffering damages, but also for 'loss of enjoyment of life.' The lawsuit was filed in Seattle.
A similar suit against McDonalds 15 years ago essentially created the 'lawsuit abuse' movement and led to the passing of laws restricting frivolous lawsuits, The McDonald’s case also became the butt of jokes by late night comics.
Jen Harris with Texans Against Lawsuit Abuse says lawyers like the one who filed this lawsuit make her job a whole lot easier.
"The system is being abused," she said. "Its unclear whether we're looking for justice here, or just looking to make a buck."
The lawsuit claims the barista at a San Antonio Starbucks 'failed to seal the lid atop her cup of Venti green tea after she purchased the tea at a drive through.' It claims Sturgess had pulled away from the drive through and when she took her first sip of tea, the lid came off, and 'scalding hot tea poured over her.' The lawsuit claims the woman suffered second degree burns and needed medical treatment.
Starbucks would not comment, and neither would the lawyer who filed the lawsuit, but Harris would like to give her a big hug because she says cases like this lead to a flood of donations to lawsuit abuse groups.
"It raises eyebrows in terms of, is it an appropriate lawsuit, or is it a frivolous lawsuit," she said.
Harris said lawyers who file cases like this one, and a case a few weeks ago where a woman is suing Cowboys owner Jerry Jones because she sat on a bench in front of Cowboy Stadium on a hot summer day and burned her legs, help demonstrate for the everyday person the dangerous of frivolous lawsuits.
"We have always supported justice for people who have truly been injured," Harris said. "But our justice system is intended to make people whole, not make them rich."