A police officer in North Carolina is suing Starbucks over burns from a free coffee the company gave him. The officer is asking for monetary damages of $50,000 stemming from his coffee burn injuries.
Injured Officer Required Surgery After Coffee Spilled on Him
According to the complaint, the police officer's injuries were far from a simple coffee burn. Allegedly, the burns resulted in the man needing a surgery to remove a portion of his intestines. The burns also caused him serious emotional damage, according to the complaint.
The plaintiff in this case, Raleigh Police Lieutenant Matthew Kohr, claims that his free cup of coffee from Starbucks spilled on him in 2012 after the lid fell off. The resulting burns aggravated the man's Chron's disease, which led to the intestine surgery.
Starbucks Says Coffee Was Free so the Lawsuit Is Unfounded
The officer is seeking financial compensation relating to legal fees, emotional damages and medical costs. Furthermore, his wife is seeking damages relating to her loss of emotional support, loss of intimate partner and loss of social companion. Lawyers representing Starbucks have responded to the lawsuit, saying that the police lieutenant is not protected under Starbucks' warranty because he did not actually pay for his drink. The most recent reports indicate that the jury selection process has already begun in the matter.
As most readers of this blog already know, this is not the first time a hot drink spill has resulted in a lawsuit against Starbucks. In 2010, a district court dismissed a $3 million lawsuit against Starbucks relating to tea burns. McDonalds has also been targeted in such cases. In the most recent coffee burn dispute with McDonalds, the fast food chain's lawyers accused the plaintiff of faking her injuries just to obtain money from the company.
Attorneys representing plaintiffs in burn injury lawsuits must review all the facts, evidence and injuries carefully to identify any potential strengths and weak points in the matter. Only then can a litigant confidently choose the best strategy to proceed with his or her case. Any time a large company is being sued, it is absolutely vital to make sure one has considered all angles and potential strategies to seek a recovery.
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