A police officer from Raleigh, North Carolina filed suit against Starbucks this week seeking $50,000 in damages after he sustained burns in 2012. What’s the catch? For starters: the coffee was free. Lieutenant Matthew Korh is suing for damages sustained after he burned himself from coffee given to him by Starbucks, for free, because he’s an officer. But claimed that the burns were exacerbated after he poured water on them, and those burns caused his Crohn’s Disease to flare up… Which ultimately led to him having to undergo surgery to have part of his intestine removed…. Wait, what?
Lieutenant Matthew Kohr spills free coffee on his lap after the lid popped off.
Cop pours water on the burns and the burns somehow worsen.
These coffee burns somehow inflamed his digestive disorder.
The burns caused his Crohn’s Disease to worsen to the point of having part of his intestine removed.
FREE COFFEE DAMMIT. How is this officer of the law going to take a kickback from Starbucks because he wears a uniform, then he sues Starbucks claiming the lid was defective and that somehow led to intestinal surgery. What the hell is going on down in North Carolina?!?!?
Attorneys for a Raleigh police officer began making the case Monday that he should be compensated the burns, blisters and emotional damage he suffered when a hot cup of coffee spilled on his lap in January 2012.
In the morning, a judge heard motions from representatives of Matthew Kohr, a lieutenant with Raleigh police’s special operations division, and Starbucks.
Kohr and his wife are suing the coffee giant, claiming that a lid popped off the cup of coffee he ordered at the Starbucks on Peace Street and the cup folded in on itself. They are seeking $50,000, including damages, attorney fees and medical costs.
In the lawsuit, Kohr said he poured cold water on the burn, but the pain intensified. He claimed the injuries aggravated his Crohn’s disease and resulted in surgery to remove a portion of his intestine.
The incident, according to the lawsuit, also caused Kohr’s wife, Melanie, a loss of a “source of emotional support, her social companion and her intimate partner.”
The Starbucks barista who prepared the drink and the company that made the cup were initially named in the suit but have since been dropped.
Before the case could go forward, the cost of the cup of coffee came into question. Since Kohr didn’t pay, Starbucks attorneys argued that it wasn’t subject to the same warranty that a purchase would imply.
They also pointed out that Starbucks serves about four billion cups a year made by International Paper and that there have been only 59 similar incidents.
I’m not sure whether to celebrate the fact that we live in a country where officers of the law can sue gigantic corporations after spilling coffee, or if I should be angry that this cop thinks he can get away with such a frivolous lawsuit. I’ll certainly be following this lawsuit closely, as it’ll no doubt be all sorts of entertaining to see this man try and prove that spilling coffee somehow forced intestinal surgery, and the slippery lawyering that’ll take place will be impressive as hell.
For more information regarding this lawsuit you can click on over to Raleigh’s WRAL.