A California family is suing the coffee retailer Starbucks after a two-year-old girl allegedly drank a beverage containing a barista’s blood, the family’s attorneys announced Wednesday.
Amanda Vice, her husband Louis, and his mother Rhonda Agles ordered drinks from a San Bernardino Starbucks on February 6, 2016, when “they noticed a red smear” on a cup and “a strong metallic smell” coming from it, according to a complaint obtained by KTLA.
The family noticed that another cup, which one of the family members shared with the toddler, also had a red mark on it. When the family determined that nobody had been bleeding, they reported the incident to Starbucks.
Starbucks discovered that one of their employees had been bleeding and management removed that employee from duty, according to the family’s attorney.
The manager of that location offered the family a week of free beverages after the family expressed concern over the alleged contaminated beverages.
The family requested that the manager require that the employee undergo blood testing to check if he or she tested positive for HIV or other communicable diseases. The manager reportedly agreed but told the family that the employee could not be “forced” to undergo blood testing.
“The family was then left to schedule their own blood tests, causing extreme distress for the parents as they had to watch their daughter be poked with a needle and agonizingly wait for the results,” according to a news release from the law firm.
Although the blood tests came back negative for any diseases, the family had to undergo the tests again six months later to ensure the results were correct.
Starbucks offered the family $1,000, but the family’s attorney, Stan Peckler, said the money Starbucks offered “does not begin to compensate” for the family’s distress.
The lawsuit is seeking damages for negligence and emotional distress, among other claims, according to the news release.
Starbucks released its own statement saying that the company is prepared to fight these claims in court.
“We are aware of this claim, that allegedly took place in 2016, and are prepared to present our case in court,” Starbucks announced in a statement.