Aug 26

Starbucks Lawsuit Gives Plaintiffs and Lawyers a Bad Name


starbucks lawsuit about too much iceI am all for filing a lawsuit when the insurance company or big business forces someone to do so because of their actions or inaction. However, some lawsuits simply give lawyers and people who are forced to file lawsuits a bad name. The recently-dismissed Starbucks lawsuit is one of them.

A lawsuit filed in Los Angeles federal court in June alleged that Starbuck’s iced drinks “contain significantly less product than advertised.” The Starbucks lawsuit states that excessive ice deceives customers because its cold beverages contain less liquid than advertised.

According to the, this week, Judge Percy Anderson dismissed the Starbucks lawsuit as ridiculous, saying even a kid knows better. “If children have figured out that including ice in a cold beverage decreases the amount of liquid they will receive, the court has no difficulty concluding that a reasonable consumer would not be deceived into thinking that when they order an iced tea, that the drink they receive will include both ice and tea and that for a given size cup, some portion of the drink will be ice rather than whatever liquid beverage the consumer ordered,” he wrote in his Aug. 19 opinion.

To further his point on dismissal, the judge also pointed out that Starbucks uses clear cups for cold drinks, making it easy for customers to see how much ice they are getting. Also,
since Starbucks never explicitly states on menus or signs that a given drink size contains a specified amount of liquid, the claimant’s claim was dismissed.

According to the article, Starbucks is still facing a similar lawsuit in Illinois that alleges the company underfills iced beverages.

This case will get the press and paint a picture of crazy, money-hungry Plaintiffs just trying to get rich by filing a lawsuit. That may be true in this case, but it far from the truth in the hundreds of lawsuits that get filed and receive no press coverage. Lawsuits that have to be filed because insurance company put profit before people and improperly evaluates a claim when someone is injured in a car accident, slip or fall or products liability case. Lawsuits that need to be filed to protect a client’s interest in a contract that someone refuses to abide by. The legitimate lawsuits – often filed reluctantly by Plaintiffs only after the other side refuses to compromise – get lost in the discussion.

The Starbuck lawsuit gives good people fighting for their rights a bad name. It also paints Plaintiff lawyers who file lawsuit in a bad light. As a proud personal injury attorney, I wish people would not file lawsuits like the Starbucks lawsuit, but acknowledge that they have a right to do so.


Attorney Matthew E. NoyesPersonal Injury Attorney Matthew Noyes represents those injured in car accidents, motorcycle crashes, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents and other types of personal injury matters. He is a named partner at the Tampa Bay law firm of Perenich Caulfield Avril Noyes – one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Pinellas County. Call Attorney Matthew Noyes now at 727-796-8282 or complete the form on this page or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.

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