, Gloucester, MA


December 26, 2007

Starbucks settles suit over coffee-scalded infant for $70K

BEVERLY - The Starbucks coffee chain will pay a Beverly family $70,000 to settle a lawsuit over the spilling of hot coffee on a 7-month-old baby last year.

Ethan Thorn was an infant when his parents brought him into a Starbucks in Somerville's Davis Square in April, 2006. According to the lawsuit, a store employee serving a cup of coffee to Ethan's father accidentally spilled coffee on the baby's legs and groin, causing second-degree burns. The baby was in his father's arms at the time.

The baby, now 2, was treated at Shriners Hospital in Boston over the course of several months, according to the lawsuit.

The suit, filed on behalf of the family by Manchester lawyer Orestes Brown, said the coffee shop employee "had a duty of reasonable care not to serve hot coffee to an infant."

A Salem Superior Court judge on Friday approved the settlement, which will be placed into a trust for the boy's benefit. The settlement does not require Starbucks to admit any liability.

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