Consumer Law

Judge tosses suit claiming ice in Starbucks beverages shortchanges customers on liquid

  • Print

iced coffee

A federal judge in Los Angeles has tossed a lawsuit alleging Starbucks is misleading customers about the size of its iced beverages because some of the liquid is displaced by ice.

U.S. District Judge Percy Anderson tossed the suit in an Aug. 19 decision (PDF), report the Wall Street Journal Law Blog, Consumer Affairs and Grub Street.

The plaintiff, Alexander Forouzesh, had claimed that an iced “grande” beverage listed at 16 ounces contained only 12 ounces of liquid, and an iced “venti” beverage listed at 24 ounces contained only 14 ounces of liquid.

Anderson agreed with Starbucks that reasonable members of the public would not be deceived. “As young children learn,” Anderson wrote, “they can increase the amount of beverage they receive if they order no ice.”

Anderson also noted that Starbucks serves its drinks in clear cups, making it easy to see that the drink includes both ice and liquid.

Forouzesh’s would-be class action had alleged fraud, negligent misrepresentation, breach of warranty and unjust enrichment. A similar lawsuit is pending in federal court in Illinois, and Starbucks filed a motion to dismiss that case on Thursday, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Updated Aug. 25 to note Starbucks’ subsequent motion to dismiss the other suit.

Give us feedback, share a story tip or update, or report an error.