If a Nashville man's lawsuit holds up in court, the verb "to Tazo" just might enter common parlance, as in "Don't Tazo me, bro!"
Bernie Bublick claims a bottle of Tazo Giant Peach Tea blew up at his home on April 5, sending shards of glass into his right hand and damaging a tendon. He says he has gone through two surgeries on the hand to repair the damage.
Bublick's legal complaint, filed yesterday in Davidson County Circuit Court and available at this link, asserts that the Whole Foods Market in Green Hills was negligent in selling him the bottle and that Starbucks, maker of Tazo, was negligent in manufacturing it.
The lawsuit says the explosion was not an isolated event. On April 19, with his enthusiasm for Tazo Giant Peach evidently undimmed, Bublick went back to Whole Foods and bought another bottle of the unpredictable elixir.
This time, the bottle was in his shopping cart, so only his groceries got Tazo'ed, as it were. The complaint says concerned Whole Foods employees gathered around and investigated the incident, with one commenting, "That's really strange."
The court filing does not address what might have caused the explosion. In home canning operations, there is often a danger that unintentional fermentation will lead to explosions.
Bublick says the injury has caused him both physical and emotional pain and suffering, as well as "loss of income as a jeweler who relies on the proper use of his right hand in his work." He seeks an unspecified amount in compensatory and punitive damages. Brian Cummings of the Gideon, Cooper & Essary law firm filed suit on his behalf.
Efforts to reach representatives at the corporate offices of Whole Foods and Starbucks for comment today have so far been unsuccessful. The City Paper will update this story as warranted.
A visit to the Green Hills Whole Foods early this afternoon revealed that the market was still carrying a fully stocked shelf of Tazo Tea products — except that the space allotted for the Giant Peach flavor was empty.