By Mark Young, SouthFloridaReporter.com Managing Editor, Jan. 9, 2016 – Starbucks responded today to our Friday SouthFloridaReporter exclusive (see below) with the following statement:
“We are aware of the filing of the lawsuit and are investigating the plaintiff’s claims. While we are very sorry to hear of Mr. Romano’s reported injuries, we are unable to comment on active litigation matters.” – Jaime Riley, Starbucks spokesperson.
By Mark Young, SouthFloridaReporter.com Managing Editor, Jan. 8, 2016 – The SouthFloridaReporter has learned EXCLUSIVELY that a South Florida man is suing Starbucks for injuries suffered when a drive-thru employee allegedly failed to secure a lid on a coffee cup handed him, spilling hot coffee into his lap.
The lawsuit, filed by Christopher Romano, alleges that he suffered second-degree burns to his groin after a barista at a Pompano Beach Starbucks “failed to confirm [Romano’s] hold of the cup,” thus severely burning himself when the cup spilled, according to a complaint filed late Wednesday in the Broward Circuit Court in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
In seeking damages in excess of $15,000, the complaint alleges that the coffee was “exceedingly hot, such that it was dangerous and unfit for human consumption.” Romano is represented by Marc Wites and Chad Robinson of Wites Kapetan in Lighthouse Point.
“There have been instances in which fast-food restaurants were sued over hot coffee,” Fort Lauderdale attorney Steve Swickle (not involved in the case) told SouthFloridaReporter. “Most famous was an early 1990’s case in which an elderly woman sued McDonald’s after she was burned by coffee that had been heated to approximately 190 degrees.”
An undisclosed settlement was eventually reached in the case of Liebeck vs. McDonald’s. Similar lawsuits received a fair amount of public scrutiny and accusations of frivolousness.
A call to Starbucks spokeswoman, Linda Mills, has not been returned.