CHARLESTON – A woman is suing Starbucks Corporation and Snowshoe Mountain Inc. after she claims a foreign object was found in her son’s hot chocolate.

ICRE Inc. and Intrawest U.S. Holdings Inc. were also named as defendants in the suit.

On Nov. 27, 2014, W.T.S. and his mother, Kirsten Sutherlin, were in the Starbucks in Snowshoe Village and W.T.S. ordered hot chocolate beverage, according to a complaint filed Oct. 17 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Sutherlin claims W.T.S. began to drink the beverage and complained to his mother that there was something hard in his mouth and spat out a foreign body that had been in the beverage.

W.T.S. spat out a hard cylindrical plastic piece and a metal nut and may have consumed any and all additional metal and/or plastic shards that were contained within the beverage ordered from the Snowshoe Starbucks, according to the suit.

Sutherlin claims she examined the cup and noted additional sharp plastic pieces, including a hard cylindrical plastic piece with one of the ends broken off and brought the plastic and metal objects in the Starbucks cup back to the coffee shop.

Employees of the defendants informed Sutherlin that the plastic and metal shards were from the whipped cream blender, which had broken, according to the suit.

Sutherlin claims that despite the knowledge that the whipped cream blender was broken, the defendants continued to use it in serving beverages to customers or their consumption, including W.T.S.

The defendants’ employees failed to properly perform their jobs and failed to properly serve a safe and consumable beverage to its customer, according to the suit.

Sutherlin claims the defendants knew or should have known that the blender was broken and created a hazard for customers.

As a result of the incident, W.T.S. injured himself and had to undergo a pediatric upper GI endoscopy and receive further medical treatment, according to the suit.

Sutherlin is seeking compensatory and punitive damages. She is being represented by Shawn R. Romano and Miles B. Berger of Romano & Associates.

The case is assigned to Circuit Judge Carrie Webster.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 16-C-1577

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