Starbucks and Pactiv Packaging Inc. were slapped with a lawsuit this week by a California customer who says he suffered second-degree burns all over his body from scalding tea that spilled when the lid on a cup came loose.
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Tommy Piluyev claims he not only lost the ability to play the piano but that sex is now "painful and awkward" due to the injuries he suffered in the fall of 2018, according to the lawsuit filed in Sacramento.
Piluyev is accusing the coffee giant and Pactiv Packaging, which he says provided the cups and lids, of negligence. It's a claim Starbucks believes holds no merit, according to people familiar with the matter.
In October, Piluyev and his family were at a Starbucks drive-thru in the northern Californa city of Roseville to pick up two Honey Citrus Mint Teas. When an associate was passing the tea to Piluyev, who was sitting in his SUV, the lid "lost its seal" and "dislodged" from the cup, according to the suit.
The "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," according to court documents.
The incident left Piluyev "covered in scalding tea, and unable to open his door to escape because he was near the drive-through window," according to the suit. At that point, he "pulled into an adjacent parking lot, hastily exited the vehicle and stripped off his sweat pants."
By the time he was rushed to the emergency room, however, Piluyev had already suffered “partial-thickness burns with blistering across the lower left abdomen, thighs, penis, scrotum, peritoneum and buttocks,” according to the suit. Nine of his fingers were burned, too.
A spokesperson from Starbucks told FOX Business on Friday that the company is evaluating the case.
"Our partners take great pride in ensuring our beverages are crafted with care and are delivered to customers safely," the spokesperson said. "We take our responsibility to provide a safe environment seriously and will continue to do so."
While in recovery at the UC Davis Medical Center’s burn unit, "Mr. Piluyev could not use his hands or fingers for any purpose, including personal care," the lawsuit claims. "He became entirely dependent on the medical staff."
In the five months following his 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."
However, "Mr. Piluyev remained unable to play the piano" and "the sensitivity and permanent skin discoloration and disfigurement of Mr. Piluyev’s genitals and inner thighs made eventual intimacy awkward and painful," the suit says.
Representatives for Pactiv didn't immediately return FOX Business' request for comment.