Did you know that Starbucks policy prohibits "partners" from double-cupping your beverage to stop your hand from burning? Despite the rule, it happens every day to customers like Rachel Moltner, an 80-year-old woman who spilled tea onto her left leg and foot when she tried to remove the lid from a cup of tea, "causing burns that required a skin graft" and a hospital stay that led to other injuries, "including bed sores as well as herniated discs caused by a fall out of bed," Reuters reports. Moltner filed a $3 million lawsuit against Starbucks, but despite the double cup conundrum, an appeals court has dismissed the case.
The court ruled that "double-cupping is a method well known in the industry as a way of preventing a cup of hot tea from burning one's hand." But Moltner's lawyer says this is the end of the road for his client's lawsuit, and blasted the court for missing the point. "The other side presented an old lady knocking over her tea," says Moltner. "The case was really about that Starbucks has a directive to employees that you should not double-cup because it changes the center of gravity and can cause the cup to tip over." And you don't even want to know what happens when Starbucks adds a third cup—it creates a fiery wormhole that turns the whole space/time continuum inside out!
Moltner's case is not to be confused with another hot tea lawsuit filed against Starbucks back in May. In that case, plaintiff Zeynep Inanli claims she was served tea at a Third Avenue Starbucks that was "unreasonably hot, in containers which were not safe." And as a result of Starbucks' negligence, she suffered "great physical pain and mental anguish," including the burns. That case is still pending, but Moltner's lawsuit sets a discouraging precedent, and reverses legal advances made with Kramer v. Java World Co, which ended favorably for the plaintiff with a lifetime supply of free coffee.