A legal battle is brewing between Starbucks and a California family claiming they were served bloody cups of Frappuccino.
Amanda Vice says in a lawsuit against the coffee chain that Frappuccinos she ordered for herself and her toddler daughter from a San Bernardino Starbucks in February 2016 came with a ghastly ingredient not typically found on the menu.
She said first noticed the red stains on a drink she purchased for her daughter Payton, who was 2 at the time.
“She was licking the whipped cream where it had been sitting on top,” Vice told CBS Los Angeles, describing the moment she noticed the drink was corpuscle-enhanced. She said the Frappuccino also had a strange metallic smell.
Then she noticed something else.
“It was on the inside of the rim of my Frappuccino,” she said.
Vice said her first instinct was to see if she or her daughter were bleeding. They weren’t.
Next, she reported the incident to the Starbucks, and said she discovered that an employee had been bleeding before being removed from a work station, her attorneys, the Frish Law Group, said in a statement.
The experience still leaves a bad taste in the mouth of Vice’s husband.
“My wife and my baby just drank someone’s blood,” Louis Vice told KTLA. “It was bad.”
The Starbucks manager tried to settle things by offering free drinks for a week, according to the Vices’ law firm. Starbucks later offered $1,000 to each family member as compensation, according to the statement.
But the family’s attorney, Stan Pekler, told KTLA the sum “does not begin to compensate the family for suffered injuries and damages for which Starbucks is liable.”
“They endured additional distress because Starbucks seemed to not care about their well being and refused to direct the employee to undergo a blood test to ensure the family’s safety,” Pekler said.
The lawyers’ statement says the Starbucks manager agreed to ask the bleeding employee get tested for communicable disease, but didn’t force the employee to get evaluated.
The Vices had themselves tested then and six months later, with negative results.
Starbucks responded to the lawsuit with this statement to reporters:
“We are aware of this claim that allegedly took place in 2016, and are prepared to present our case in court.”
Meanwhile, Amanda Vice said the experience has affected how she approaches life.
“We’re constantly double-checking everything, because now I don’t trust, I don’t trust anybody,” she told CBS Los Angeles.