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Lawsuit: Woman Burned, Dog Dies From Starbucks Too-Hot Tea

By Stan Bush

DENVER (CBS4) - According to court documents, Deanna Solas-Solando says a barista at the Starbucks on Leetsdale Drive and Holly Street gave her a venti tea that did not have a heat sleeve or double-cup or even a secure lid.

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(credit: CBS)

The woman claims hot water began spilling from the cup and melted her clothes, then burning her abdomen and thighs.

The lawsuit alleges that her dog also burned and died shortly after being treated at an animal hospital.

Solas-Solando needed surgery and skin-grafts for her severe burns.

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(credit: Deanna Solas-Solando)
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(credit: Deanna Solas-Solando)

The lawsuit claims the Starbucks had been warned before about serving dangerously hot drinks without sleeves or secured lids.

Hot coffee protections became industry standards after a landmark case in 1994 when a New Mexico woman sued McDonald's for serving her coffee so hot it melted her cup and nearly killed her.

She was awarded nearly $2.9 million, though state laws capped the award to $640,000.

Starbucks says they're innocent in this case. The company says video evidence does not support Solas-Solando's allegations.

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(credit: CBS)

The company statement says:

"We have video evidence that clearly contradicts the claims made by the plaintiff and believe they are without merit. We look forward to presenting our case in court. While we are sympathetic to Ms. Salas-Solano and the injuries she sustained, we don't have any reason to believe our partner (employee) was at fault"

Stan Bush is a general assignment reporter at CBS4. His stories can be seen on CBS4 News at 10. Read his bio and follow him on Twitter @StanBushTV.

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