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August 16, 2006

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Becca

I'm a little skeptical about the ability of the coffee to brun your foot through a shoe, but if the sneaker was a meshy one than ok. But really, what kind of moron would keep the shoe on? The first thing I would do would be to rip it and the sock right off. I'm pretty sure they even teach you to do that in first aide. Good Lawyer maybe, but stupid person.

Why would you wear sneakers, socks, AND stockings in the first place?

Becca

You would if you are a woman going to/coming from work, walk a fair distance to do so, and are wearing a dress or skirt with stockings. You can't really wear sneakers over stockings, because they won't fit will, and they will ruin the stockings. It's actually pretty smart to wear all of them.

cornfrost

She's in NYC, where people walk to work. It is not uncommon to wear sneakers and socks over stockings.
With the new cups and lids, which don't snap together well, this is bound to happen even more often.

Former Barista

She mus be a crappy lawyer if she has to sue Starbucks.

Didn't we just read about another foot fumble lawsuit?

These people need to get a life and quit being so overdramatic.

James the Barista

I find it really hard to believe that the barista said nothing to her, if she was in as much pain as she said she was in she would of been screaming and yelling...people like this make it hard to work at starbucks.

Drinker

Yes, James, a woman who "still suffers pain when she puts her foot in anything too hot or cold and can only wear certain kinds of shoes" really makes YOUR life difficult.

Please, please, let's start blaming the woman for the spill and injury ASAP!

Criticize the amount, fine, but why do so many baristas always go into character assasination mode on stuff like this? It's really sad.

John Molina

I don't think we're blaming anyone. We're just saying that some people are ridiculous yuppies.

Last time I checked burn cream didn't run a few hundred grand.

cindyetta

Recently I was burned on the hand (lid was not put on propoerly, it came off, and the liquid slipped all over me) by a matcha latte at Starbucks. I had asked for it to be 100 degrees - but it was super duper hot. I had to ask several times for ice to put on the burn (it blistered) - and was only given ice in a cup (doesn't help much for a burn). Granted it was very busy, but I was a bit surprised and disappointed at the lack of assistance I got.

Part of me at the time wished I were letigious, as I knew I could get money (esp since it was written on the cup what temp I wanted). Frankly, if an employee had just been nice and expressed concern and given me some help, I would have been okay with it all.

higgins

I loved the NY Post headline for their take on this story: Scar Bucks.

seattle

First off CINDYETTA I highly doubt you would have gotten a dime. It is the rarest (and most ignorant) of judges that awards that kind of money for something like this. And can you just imagine the amount of people that try something like this on a weekly basis? The greediness is staggering.

Second-I have faith that most of us that work or have worked in a store can agree, that most coffee spills don't cause enough pain and suffering to warrant damages in the amount of $300,000.

Gotta love America and it's greedy citizens.

Lyra

"Gotta love America and it's greedy citizens."

ITS citizens. ITS ITS ITS ITS ITS

It's = It is
Its = possessive.

Gotta love American and ITS ignorant citizens.


/end grammar rant

sbuxboy

Lyra, Did it ever occur to you that when people type on web forums. such as this. they do it in a way that is quick and not necessarily correct when it comes to grammar, spelling, etc. They are just trying to get a point accross, not win a spelling bee. Last I checked "gotta" wasn't a word. Although, I haven't looked it up in the dictionary, they do add slang to the dictionary sometimes. I don't understand why someone would sue over something so rediculous as a cup of spilled coffee. I work at Starbucks, and have worked in restaurants in the past. I have never seen an employee sue their own workplace because they splashed hot grease on themselves, because it is common sense that these types of things can happen. It is also common sense that when you enter a Starbucks you are putting yourself in an environment where there are hot liquids and there is a chance those hot liquids could be spilled, on you or anyone else. I think it would be sad to see the day that restaurants and coffee shops have to put signs on the door that say, "Enter at your own risk, hot liquids inside." or "We are not responsible for any harm caused by the hot liquids on these premises." Why must people bring down everyone else because of their stupidity.

coffeeguy :)

Personally had it been me I would have gotten the burn cream from the first aid kit.

any time a customer is burned this should be a first reaction if deemed needed.

Izzy-c

A serious burn can run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars for treatment. What got this lady was the fact that her stockings most likely melted, thus increasing the extent of the burn.

The problem that I have is that I feel reasonably certain that the barista didn't drop the coffee on this lady's foot on purpose. Accidents happen. I believe that Starbucks should have paid for her medical expenses but I disagree with the $301,000 punitive award. Thank you McDonald's for setting this precedent.

Just Me

Somewhat off track here, according to Red Cross First Aid training that my company provides, ice is not ideal for a burn; better to provide a lukewarm or cool compress. Just a tip for baristas if someone in your store has a similar hand-burning experience to the one described - a dampened towel is preferable to a cup of ice.

Izzy-C

Just Me, you're very correct. Ice can actually cause more damage to the affected tissue. Cool water or a cool towel (just run cold water over it) is preferable.

seattle

LYRA-there places that can help you. I took the time to look one up: http://www.grammarmudge.cityslide.com/page/page/1722973.htm.

I bet "ITS" (oops-I did it again!) going to be a real fun website for ya.

coffeeguy :)

I am going to make a point to look up the companys stance on what to do in result of a partner or customer burn.

there's gotta be a standard somewhere.

ccnj

Ironic in a pathetic, sad way that this incident shows the company's lack of info on CUSTOMER burn incidents.
At my store, a customer was burned by a venti tea (they spilled it on themselves). I attempted to retrieve burn gel, and the shift stopped me and insisted "we are not allowed to administer first aid to a customer." We argued, but I relented to the shift, even though i pointed out the first aid kit is for customers, not 'only employees'. She insisted it was a liability to help the customer, and apparently hand them burn gel (which all of us starbucks employees know, works like freakin' magic)
she sent them off (i believe he requested a cup of ice, also not advised/allowed) and they went to the hospital, allowing time for the burn to worsen.
I went home and read my training book, which had oodles of information for partner injury, but barely anything, and certainly nothing concrete, regarding partner injury protocol. But I know i read it somewhere that first aid is for customers.
The result: Shift was absolutely incorrect, and the customer is...following up, shall i say?
$$$
however, accidents happen, and reasonable concern/care should be expected.

Fred Kiesche

Never mind the grammer rant. How about a spelling rant!

Susie

The judge didn't award her $300,000, a jury of her peers did. The judge simply refused to over-turn the verdict for being excessive.

SBUXSS

Okay, Fred ... spelling rant it is!

grammar - g-r-a-m-m-a-r - grammar

;)

Fred Kiesche

Darn. My early dabblings in M.E. trip me up again. That and a lack of coffee-based beverages when I was typing!

sbuxnewbie

Hey folks. I'm a retired paramedic. Ice, wrapped in a dry towel or burn gel is fine for 1st degree or small 2nd degree burn (2nd degree, on a small area like 3" square or less, for example). Larger areas it isn't recommended, at least not for those who handle this stuff for a living.

I agree, the burn was probably exacerbated by the nylons, but that is a fact of life.

And, depending on the customer's general health, yes, a splash of hot coffee to the top of the foot can cause permanant nerve damage rather quickly, even if ice/ water gel, or cool water is applied.

I specifically asked my manager (4 weeks ago) about using the kit for customers, and was told that we were indeed to provide any customer who was burned with the water gel, and *file an incident report*.

In other words, document what happened, who it happened to, and what was done about it. But do something about it, first.

nickname

safety is the first concern that superceeds all others, including customer service...when the two collide (such as a burned customer) then they take precidence over all...

where you can get in hot water is when you give people things like aspirin from your med kit. that is a no no, because you have no way of knowing any types of allergies that the person may have.

gel is okay. drugs are not.
incident reports though, are a must.

nickname

*precedence*

(for the english police...)

I also am a barista at a starbucks, and I have customers tell me all the time, no dont put a lid on the cup.I in return tell them it is company policy to put a lid on it. This is our way of protecting ourselves against sue happy people. I understand the cup had a lid on it but come on, that is an excessive amount of money. What happened to the term accidents happen? If the barista dumped it on her then it is a different story. What happens when the spill coffee on them selves at home??

Sven

If the barista who dropped the coffee knew that it was going to cost $300K, the least he or she could have done was gotten his or her money's worth and thrown the coffee in that loser's face.

Or, barring that, thrown it in the face of people so bereft of meaningful contact with other that they nitpick grammar comment boards.

Wow, if I had known that the second and third degree burns I got on the top of my foot when a fellow barista spilled an entire shuttle full of coffee on me during a "switch and brew" could have been worth that much money, I would have been able to quit a looooong time ago. BTW - tearing off my leather shoe and sock (no nylons)immediately didn't help one bit and yes I screamed like a little girl.

catherine

I hate lawsuits like this. It's coffee, it's HOT. If the barista poured coffee on the customer on purpose (assult) then I could see going to court, but by accident? What's next, baristas are going to have to carry malpractice insurance and the price of coffee will be $10 for a tall? I drink a lot of starbucks and consequently have had my share of coffee spilt on my hands. My advice: either don't drink hot beverages, or, if you want your coffee hot and a spill happens the proper response is to yell, the F word works nicely when you have a burn but do not sue Starbucks.

becky

I have poured coffee straight from the urn right on to my hand, and the "burns" I suffered were nothing. A red, and hot hand... thats it. There is no way that coffee poured into a cup that is knocked over could cause burns that severe, that you would need compensation. People are just using any excuse to sue big companies these days, because they feel they deserve the money.

Dennis

Knock off the self-righteous acts. We all know if it was any of you would all be running like little bitches to the phone to contact your lawyer too. Here's an idea if you don't wanna get sued in the future don't slam the coffee ionto the customers hand like your tossing them a sack of cement. Also if you're gonna work somewhere in America, Learn English. You don't know how annoyingit is to deal with some braindead banana boater who can't grasp a simple command like put a god damn lid on the coffee.

Sbuxboy

Dennis, I have spilled coffee on myself. I didn't sue. Someone else has spilled coffee on me. I didn't sue. As for you wanting everone to know perfect English. I challenge you to learn perfect Mandarin Chinese. Ugh, I can't stand uncultured white trash.

Barista

As a barista, I have been burned many times over by the drinks we serve. Just the other day I was putting a lid on a latte and the cup tipped over. At 150 degrees, the drink didn't feel good as it covered my arm. The only care and concern I got was from the mass line of cutomers asking where their drink was and why it was taking so long. Maybe I should sue them for not caring, after all it was their drink that burned me.

bob boos

Hey guys: I was in an atlantic casino in 2003 sitting at a slot machine on the aisle. I had been served a hot cup of coffee and within 10 seconds, a person believed to be a casino employee sit my arm and the hot coffee spilled onto my privates, causing 1st and 2nd degree burns. I was in bad pain and was treated at the casino first aid station and the nurse said: these are bad, bad burns.

After 4 years of litigation, I have beem offered $6500.00 dollars which does not even cover my expenses with doctors, trips back to court etc. I am expected to go to trial and when I think about it I should have taken the food voucher and free nights stay that I was offered.

bob boos

micia

I worked at Starbucks and the only thing that could really cause serious burns, and did in my case, is the panini griller.

Frank W

I was recently burned by a cup of coffee at the drive through because i was handed a cup with a loose lid.

It spilled down my leg and caused 2nd degree burns with blisters.

Coffee brewed at 205 degrees can and will cause serious burns.

LA Barista Fresh Meat

OOOH! Some of these posts made me mad.

I googled this because today I almost spilled coffee on a patron. A couple dots splattered his white shirt. I was really flustered, and needed to know the precedent.

It is insane to think someone was awarded so much money.

I'm feeling slightly better about going back into work tomorrow, knowing others have tipped the cup.

P.S. I'm not a moron because I don't understand your order. Perhaps you're a moron because you don't know how to communicate it effectively to me.

Starbucks employees call this the "before I've had my coffee" effect. I may apologize, and say it was my fault, but really, that's just good customer service.

And, we aren't allowed to steam milk to 205 degrees. It burns the milk.

jessica elliott

i am 15 years old (13 at the time)and one morning i was going into a starbucks with my mom right before a softball game and my mom ordered a coffee and they slid it back and it tipped off the counter onto my foot i sat down and this lovely couple behind us in line helped me get my socks off( tall tube socks under pants) but on one foot they had trouble because i had an anklet on eventually they got it off but they took it off with so much force and beacuse the sock was on there so long i suffered from third degree burns.and my skin was bunched up around my toes. Unfortunatly we did not sue the starbucks because like this woman they did not file an injury report or do much to help. they handed me a dirty rag and a cup of ice water. i am happy she got this outcome because it is very painful and traumatizing i dont drink hot drinks anymore, and this situation could have easily been avoided. i think their coffee may be a little hot...oh and did i forget to mention this was after they slid a few ice cubes into the coffee.

jessica

i am 15 years old (13 at the time)and one morning i was going into a starbucks with my mom right before a softball game and my mom ordered a coffee and they slid it back and it tipped off the counter onto my foot i sat down and this lovely couple behind us in line helped me get my socks off( tall tube socks under pants) but on one foot they had trouble because i had an anklet on eventually they got it off but they took it off with so much force and beacuse the sock was on there so long i suffered from third degree burns.and my skin was bunched up around my toes. Unfortunatly we did not sue the starbucks because like this woman they did not file an injury report or do much to help. they handed me a dirty rag and a cup of ice water. i am happy she got this outcome because it is very painful and traumatizing i dont drink hot drinks anymore, and this situation could have easily been avoided. i think their coffee may be a little hot...oh and did i forget to mention this was after they slid a few ice cubes into the coffee.

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