Society

Woman Wins $100,000 In Lawsuit Against Starbucks

| by Sheena Vasani

A judge awarded $100,000 to a Florida woman who suffered first- and second-degree burns from a cup of Starbucks coffee.

Joanne Mogaver, 43, was ordering a Venti Pike from a Starbucks drive-thru in July 2014 when the lid popped off while the barista passed the cup to her, the Daily Mail reports.

The 190-degree coffee spilled all over Mogaver's lap and left permanent scarring.   

Mogaver's attorney, Steve Earle, argued in court that Starbucks should warn customers the lid can suddenly pop off. A Starbucks representative added the company receives 80 complaints every month about this very issue.

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In response, the judge awarded $15,000 to pay Mogaver's medical bills and $85,000 for her suffering.

"My client didn't want sympathy from the jury -- she wanted justice -- and the jury gave it to her with its verdict," said Earle.

Meanwhile, Starbucks insists "they did nothing wrong" and may appeal the verdict, Fortune reports.

News of the ruling was largely met with skepticism on social media.

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"I'd appeal that ruling," wrote one Daily Mail reader. "What is it about hot coffee you don't understand? It goes without saying that you could burn yourself with hot coffee, and you were in control of the cup...yes?"

"Before you know it, customers are going to have to sign waivers before getting a hot beverage stating that they received the cup with the lid securely on," added another.

Unfortunately for Starbucks, this is just one of the many lawsuits they've been facing in recent months.

The End Brooklyn, a New York cafe, is suing the coffee chain for allegedly stealing their "unicorn drink," the New York Post reports.

The cafe says they began selling their “Unicorn Latte” in December 2016 and were in the process of acquiring a trademark on the products when Starbucks stole their idea.

"Starbucks’ products began appearing on social media labeled with the hashtag #unicornlatte, online publications began referring to Starbucks’ products as Unicorn Lattes, and [The End’s] Unicorn Latte -- while still occasionally mentioned -- was reduced to an ‘also ran’ anecdote to Starbucks’ Unicorn Frappuccino," the suit alleges.

"In addition to having a highly similar name, Starbucks’ Unicorn Frappuccino shares visual similarities to the Unicorn Latte in that both were brightly colored and featured the colors pink and blue prominently," it adds.

Starbucks again denies any wrongdoing.

"We know about the claims and we believe they are without merit," said Starbucks spokesman Reggie Borges.

Sources: Daily Mail, Fortune, New York Post / Photo credit: Cristan Ungureanu/Flickr

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