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Starbucks sued by family after blood allegedly found in drinks

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A San Bernardino family has filed a lawsuit against Starbucks after they claim a barista's blood tainted their beverages. (Stan Pekler of Frish Law Group)

A San Bernardino family has filed a lawsuit against Starbucks after they claim a barista's blood tainted their beverages in 2016.

According to a law firm representing the family, the woman, her husband, mother-in-law and 2-year-old daughter bought drinks from a Starbucks at 601 W. 2nd St.

After the family took sips of the beverages, they noticed red stains on the sides of the cups, according to attorneys.

They called the Starbucks to inform the coffee shop about the stains and were told by a staff member that an employee who was working that day had been bleeding but had since been taken out of the sales area.

The manager of the Starbucks offered the family free drinks for a week after the incident, according to attorneys, but the family insisted that the employee who had been bleeding take a blood test to confirm that no blood-borne illnesses had been transmitted to them through the beverages.

Attorneys said the manager initially agreed to have the employee take the blood test, but it was never performed. The family, meanwhile, took their own blood tests. Results were negative, but attorneys said the family had to be re-tested after six months to confirm that more serious illnesses like HIV had not been contracted.

"The family suffered emotional injuries because a beverage sold by Starbucks contained human blood, which is clearly a manufacturing defect," said Stan Pekler, an attorney for the family.

Starbucks later offered to compensate each person in the family who consumed the tainted drinks with $1,000, attorneys said.

The family opted instead to file a lawsuit seeking damages and alleging negligence, fraud, battery, assault, negligent hiring and a litany of other violations of law.

"We are aware of this claim, that allegedly took place in 2016, and are prepared to present our case in court," a representative for Starbucks said.

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