Starbucks is in hot water after a Denver woman named Deanna Salas-Solano filed a lawsuit against the coffee giant, alleging it is responsible for the death of her dog.
In the 2015 claim which seeks $100,000, Salas-Solano says that she was going through a Starbucks drive-thru when the employee gave her a hot cup of tea that was lacking a heat sleeve, double-cup, and secure lid. She goes on to allege that the hot water spilled onto her stomach, thighs, and her dog Alexander who had “jumped into [her] lap.”
Salas-Solano sustained second degree burns that required skin grafting. Her dog was treated at an emergency animal hospital but ultimately died, although the exact cause of death wasn’t stated.
Security camera footage seems to conflict with the woman’s claim—the cup appears to have a hot sleeve and the lid looks firmly in place. Salas-Solano was also on her cell phone with her dog in her lap when she accepted the piping-hot beverage, so the spill could have been the result of a distraction rather than the temperature.
For their part, Starbucks is maintaining the innocence of their employee. “We are sympathetic to Ms. Salas-Solano and the injuries she sustained and our hearts go out to her on the loss of her dog,” Starbucks told PEOPLE. “However, we have video evidence that clearly contradicts the claims made by the plaintiff and believe they are without merit. We don’t have any reason to believe our partner (employee) was at fault.”
Salas-Solano’s lawyer refused to comment.
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