One Florida woman saw success in suing Starbucks for serving hot coffee with a bad lid. The details seem excruciating …
Eater reports that the case against Starbucks was filed in 2015, in which the Florida woman ordered a 20-ounce Venti coffee, and when she reached for it at the drive-thru window, the lid popped off and the coffee spilled all over her lap. To make things worse, the coffee was 190 degrees and reportedly left first and second degree burns on her. That's more painful sounding than I want to imagine.
One Starbucks representative testified that the coffee company actually gets 80 complaints each month about lid leaks and lids popping off -- a true problem, indeed! Attorneys didn't think a lid warning would be necessary, it seems, so now I guess they're paying the price.
That price has added up to a whopping $100,000 in damages. The first $85,000 was for her pain and suffering and the remaining $15,000 was for her medical bills. Was it worth it, though? I think not.
According to USA Today, the Florida woman's attorney argued that Starbucks should warn its customers that lids can pop off. "My client didn't want sympathy from the jury -- she wanted justice -- and the jury gave it to her with its verdict," the woman's attorney Steve Earle said. "It was good to see a just result."
Hot coffee lawsuits are nothing new. McDonald's has faced them in the past and Starbucks has, too. What's different about this time is that Starbucks doesn't usually lose. Maybe this is a sign that it's about time to step up their lid game. Why chance it? Is it really worth losing so much money? And do you really want to keep burning people?
Starbucks attorneys reportedly plan to appeal the verdict, feeling like their employees haven't done anything wrong. I'd have to agree on that front. The employees couldn't do anything about the faulty lids. It's up to the Starbucks Corporation to do something about that. Hopefully, this whole thing is sorted out and a new lid solution is found before someone else gets burned.