Trials & Litigation

Police officer sues Starbucks after being burned by cup of free coffee; jury awards nothing

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A Raleigh police officer and his wife had hoped to get $750,000 in damages after a free cup of Starbucks coffee spilled in his lap and burned his inner thigh.

But a North Carolina jury on Monday awarded Lt. Matthew Kohr nothing, finding that the company is not liable for his injuries in the 2012 incident, reports WTVD.

Kohr’s lawyer, Daniel Johnson, argued that the company had failed to comply with its own standards in serving the coffee, causing the lid to pop off and the cup to collapse.

“Starbucks delivered coffee in an unsafe container. Starbucks delivered coffee in a 20-ounce cup with no sleeve—a cup with an improperly secured lid. Starbucks delivered coffee that failed to conform with their own security policy,” Johnson said.

Earlier Associated Press and News & Observer stories provide additional details.

See also: “Deja Brew? Lawsuit Alleges Too-Hot Starbucks Tea; Observers Riff on ‘94 Mickey D Coffee Case” “Documentary on ‘Hot Coffee’ Case Airs on HBO; Public Approves, Tort Defense Blog Sees Flaws” “Woman sues In-N-Out Burger in hot-coffee case, says workers refused to call 911 after she was burned” “Woman is in hot water over spilled-coffee claim against McDonald’s”

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