Liebeck, Move Over – There’s a New Plaintiff in the Coffee Game

Remember the “hot coffee case” (Liebeck v. McDonald’s Restaurants)? Well, now Starbucks is in the litigation crosshairs for its allegedly insufficient and falsely advertised iced drinks. Stacy Pincus, from Illinois, filed a lawsuit against Starbucks on April 27, 2016, accusing the company of cheating its customers out of delicious cold iced coffee; too much ice is the problem. The complaint reads in part:

A Starbucks customer who orders and pays for a Cold Drink receives much less than advertised . . . often nearly half as many fluid ounces. This is a class action lawsuit against Starbucks for misrepresenting its Cold Drinks as having more fluid ounces of the ordered Cold Drink than it actually delivers . . . and charges . . . the customer for.

The complaint continues:

Plaintiff would not have paid as much, if anything for the Cold Drinks had she known that it contained less, and in many cases, nearly half as many, fluid ounces than claimed by Starbucks. As a result, Plaintiff suffered injury in fact and lost money or property.

The plaintiff goes as far as to allege elements of conspiracy, in that “Starbucks instructs its employees to provide its customers with fewer fluid.”

As for Starbucks’ position, they were quoted as follows: “Our customers understand and expect that ice is an essential component of any ‘iced’ beverage. If a customer is not satisfied with their beverage preparation, we will gladly remake it.”

Stacy Pincus v. Starbucks Corporation