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Starbucks sued for $2 Million over tainted coffee claims

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A Utah woman has sued Starbucks Corp. for more than $2 million in state court for allegedly serving her a cup cleaning solution. (AP)

A Utah woman has sued Starbucks for more than $2 million after she says she drank a coffee at the chain that contained a cleaning solution.

Cheryl Kingery claims she was served a drink that contained a cleaning solution used on coffee and espresso machines in July 2012 at a Starbucks in the northern Utah city of Clinton.

The coffee burned and damaged her mouth and esophagus, causing severe nerve damage and chronic burning mouth pain, Kingery's attorneys wrote in the lawsuit filed in state court last week.

Starbucks takes the claims seriously and is investigating, said company spokeswoman Laurel Harper on Wednesday.

"The safety of our customers is our No. 1 priority," she said.

A message left with Kingery's lawyers seeking additional details was not returned Wednesday, and no phone number was listed for her in public records.

She's seeking $1.5 million to cover medical expenses, lost wages and other costs, plus at least $500,000 in damages for suffering and distress.

Clinton police do not have a record of a criminal complaint about the incident, said Cathy Miller with the records department. Clinton is located about 30 miles north of Salt Lake City,

In August 2014, another Utah woman nearly died after she unknowingly drank iced tea mixed with chemicals at a barbecue chain restaurant south of Salt Lake City.

Authorities said it happened after a worker inadvertently mixed an industrial cleaning solution, lye, into a tea dispenser at a Dickey's Barbecue restaurant in South Jordan. Jan Harding, 67, suffered deep, ulcerated burns to her esophagus and was hospitalized for more than two weeks after taking a single sip.

Harding settled a lawsuit with the chain for an undisclosed sum of money. Police investigated the incident, but prosecutors declined to file charges.

The Starbucks lawsuit was first reported by the Salt Lake Tribune.