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Updated: October 10, 2021 @ 2:36 pm
A Douglas County woman who said she became so sick after drinking a tainted cup of coffee from the 7-Eleven in Winston that she had to be rushed to the emergency room, has filed a civil complaint against the corporation and the local franchise owner.
Tara Frost filed her complaint in Douglas County Circuit Court on Wednesday. She is seeking nearly $50,000, according to the complaint filed by her Sutherlin attorney, Danny Lang.
The defendants are listed as 7-Eleven, and Queen Sharma Inc., the franchisee of the Winston store, located at 50 NW Main St.
According to the complaint, on Feb. 22, 2020, Frost bought a coffee from the store and shortly after drinking the coffee she got sick. Frost returned to the store and told the clerk she had gotten sick from the coffee. Frost then learned that the coffee she had consumed had been contaminated by the presence of a commercial chemical cleaning agent known as PAKZ, a cleanser for coffee machines, the complaint said.
The remaining coffee was disposed of after Frost complained about it.
Frost got so sick from drinking the tainted coffee that she had to go to the emergency room at CHI Mercy Medical Center for treatment, the complaint said. Frost was “unable to function normally” and suffered “extremely painful disabling symptoms and injuries” to her mouth, throat and esophagus.
The “permanent disabling injuries and symptoms” require Frost to take daily prescription medication for her digestive system injuries, the complaint said.
Serving Frost coffee with cleaning solvent in it violated Oregon statutes, which requires that “food dispensed, transported, sold, held for sale, stored, salvaged or displayed, is not filthy, decomposed, putrid, unsafe, contaminated, deleterious to health, unfit, unwholesome, unclean, insanitary or diseased,” according to the complaint.
Both defendants knew or should have known of the dangers of serving tainted coffee “by reason of prior similar incidents experienced by food and beverage industry retailers, such as 7-Eleven,” yet did not take appropriate steps to mitigate such potential danger, the complaint said.
The complaint also alleges that 7-Eleven and Queen Sharma Inc. were negligent in a half-dozen ways, including:
The complaint seeks $25,000, representing noneconomic damages for “severe physical pain and emotional distress, and loss of function,” another $22,353 for medical expenses, and attorney fees and court costs.
Neither defendant had been formally served with the complaint as of Friday afternoon. The 7-Eleven corporation, which is headquartered in Dallas, Texas, did not return a message seeking comment for this story.
The president of Queen Sharma, Inc., is listed as Saherra Smith, according to documents filed with the Oregon Secretary of State. Smith could not be reached for comment. A person who answered the phone at the 7-Eleven store in Winston and identified themself as a manager declined to comment.
Attorney Danny Lang also declined to comment.
Scott Carroll can be reached at [email protected] or 541-957-4204. Or follow him on Twitter @scottcarroll15.
Scott Carroll is the business reporter for The News-Review. Follow him on Twitter @scottcarroll15.
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Oh, that’s nasty. I thought we were going to be discussing civets.
Kopi luwak is tastier.
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