Home Scandal and Gossip 200F: Roseville man sues Starbucks after spilled hot tea leads to burns

200F: Roseville man sues Starbucks after spilled hot tea leads to burns

Tommy Piluyev Roseville, California man pictured with wife & their young child.
Tommy Piluyev Roseville, California man
Pictured, Tommy Piluyev Roseville, California man

Tommy Piluyev Roseville, California man sues Starbucks after spilled hot tea leads to serious burns to hands, groin & genitals. 80 complaints a day revolving defects of plastic lids.

California man has filed a lawsuit against Starbucks after a drive through server allegedly spilled hot tea on him as he sat in the driver’s seat, leading to spilled hot liquid causing second degree burns to his groin area, top half of legs along with his genitals.

Tommy Piluyev of Roseville filed a lawsuit against Starbucks Corporation and Pactiv Packaging Inc. a manufacturer and distributor of food packaging, related to the injuries he suffered in October 2018.

Court documents filed last week show the two companies being accused of negligence and product liability according to CBS Sacramento.

The incident happened in October 2018 when Piluyev, then 22, and his family purchased two pick-up grande size Honey Citrus Mint Teas at a Starbucks location in Roseville while riding in the family SUV with his wife & their young child. 

Read the suit: ‘As the window associate reached to the SUV’s window sill to deliver the second sleeved and lidded cup to Mr. Piluyev, the lid lost its seal with the cup lip and dislodged from the top of the cup,’ 

Lawsuit describes extent of victim’s burns

‘Hot tea spilled on Mr. Piluyev’s left hand during the transfer, the cup overturned on the window sill and hot tea poured onto Mr. Piluyev’s hands, stomach and pelvic area.

‘Covered in scalding tea, and unable to open his door to escape because he was near the drive-through window, Mr. Piluyev quickly put the SUV into gear and accelerated from the window. 

‘He pulled into an adjacent parking lot, hastily exited the vehicle and stripped off his sweat pants.’ 

Piluyev was rushed to the Stutter Roseville Medical Center’s emergency room, but by then he had already suffered concerning burns to several body parts.

Photos obtained by CBS 13 show some of the plaintiff’s wounds. 

‘The emergency team reported partial-thickness burns with blistering across the lower left abdomen, thighs, penis, scrotum, peritoneum and buttocks,’ the lawsuit read. 

‘Nine of his fingers were also burned to at least the second degree, left more than right.’

Tommy Piluyev Roseville
Tommy Piluyev Roseville, California man pictured with wife & their young child.

Victim lost ability to play piano and loss of sexual intimacy

Hospital staff confirmed that Piluyev suffered from second-degree burns to eight per cent of the injured areas identified.

He was then transferred to University of California, Davis’ acute care unit on October 6, where he spent 11 days in the burn unit.

While there, the lawsuit claimed Piluyev could not use his hands or fingers for any purpose, resulting in him becoming completely dependent on medical staff.  

It noted that Piluyev also lost the ability to play the piano and that sexual intimacy is now ‘painful and awkward.’

‘In the five months post-discharge Mr. Piluyev gradually regained the ability to walk, the ability to sense touch in some of his fingers, the ability to hold his young child, and eventually, to use a computer keyboard. Mr. Piluyev remained unable to play the piano.

‘The sensitivity and permanent skin discoloration and disfigurement of Mr. Piluyev’s genitals and inner thighs made eventual intimacy awkward and painful.’

Roseville Starbucks lawsuit.
Roseville Starbucks lawsuit.

80 complaints a day about defects surrounding lids

The attorney also claims both Starbucks and Pactiv Packaging knew there was a problem with the lids, citing 80 complaints a day about defects from employees.

Attorney Whitney Davis wrote that the defendants ‘had knowledge of no less than Eighty (80) lid-off incidents per day involving customers and ‘defendants had knowledge of additional complaints and burn incidents from employees, managers and associates concerning defective cups and lids.’

The lawsuit said that Starbucks tea is served between 190F to 200F.  

‘Accordingly, the conduct of Defendants STARBUCKS and PACTIV in failing to research, analyze and deploy a reasonably safe alternative solution constituted despicable conduct carried on by the Defendants in conscious disregard of the rights and safety of the Plaintiffs,’ it read.

Responded Starbucks in a statement, ‘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 attorney says his client still needs laser treatments and plastic surgery to repair the damage done by that hot tea.