A Starbucks customer is suing the coffee giant claiming his genitals are scarred for life after they were severely burnt by “scalding” hot tea.
Tommy Piluyev, 24, said the lid to a “defective” takeaway cup popped off and the drink spilled onto his body while he was sat in his car at a drive-thru window.
The lawsuit says he was in extreme pain as he pulled into a car park and pulled off his trousers which were soaked in tea that was served at a temperature of almost 100C.
Piluyev claims sex is now “awkward and painful” due to the “sensitivity and permanent skin discoloration and disfigurement” of his genitals and inner thighs.
Photos show the dad-of-one, from California, in hospital with burns to his hands, and his lawyer claims he spent 11 days in a burn unit and had to learn how to walk again.
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Piluyev, who was 22 at the time of the incident in October 2018, and his wife Liudmila Maftey are now suing Starbucks and cup manufacturer Pactiv Packaging, alleging negligence and product liability.
He claims he bought two grande-sized honey citrus mint teas – one for him and one for his wife – in the drive-thru at a Starbucks in Roseville, on the outskirts of the state capital Sacramento.
According to the lawsuit, Piluyev suffered severe burns as a worker passed the second cup, which had a sleeve and a lid, to him through the window of his BMW SUV, the Sacramento Bee newspaper reported.
The federal lawsuit states: “As the window associate reached to the SUV’s window sill to deliver the second sleeved and lidded cup to Mr Piluyev, the lid lost its seal with the cup lip and dislodged from the top of the cup.
“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.
“Covered in scalding tea, and unable to open his door to escape because he was near the drive-through window, Mr Piluyev quickly put the SUV into gear and accelerated from the window.
“He pulled into an adjacent parking lot, hastily exited the vehicle stripped off his sweat pants.”
The lawsuit says Piluyev was taken to a hospital’s A&E department, where he had “partial-thickness burns with blistering across the lower left abdomen, thighs, penis, scrotum, peritoneum and buttocks.”
Photos obtained by local TV news station CBS 13 show him in hospital with burnt hands.
The lawsuit says Piluyev needed “intravenous pain control along with intensive and invasive wound care”, and “became entirely dependent” on hospital staff because he couldn’t use his hands or fingers to do anything, including personal care.
His wife had to care for him at home after he was released, and in the five months post-discharge he “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”.
Piluyev claims sex is now painful and he can no longer play the piano due to second-degree burns on nine of his fingers.
The lawsuit says: “The sensitivity and permanent skin discoloration and disfigurement of Mr. Piluyev’s genitals and inner thighs made eventual intimacy awkward and painful.”
Piluyev’s lawyer, Whitney Davis, claims the defendants were aware of 80 complaints per day of lids popping off cups, and were also aware of employees and managers sufering burns due to “defective cups and lids”.
The lawsuit claims Starbucks serves tea at a temperature of 88-96C.
Mirror Online has contacted Starbucks and Pactiv Packaging for comment.