• Who woulda thunk Stella Liebeck was a trailblazer?

  • Would he sue the donut shop if he gets an obesity-related heart attack?

  • ‘We said, ‘Well, what’s our life worth? What’s a year and a half or two years of your life worth?’” Kohr said. “I thought it was worth $10 million.”’
    If only. I’m having trouble breaking $100,000. But then, I’m not a public servant.

  • Bill H:

    This claim is actually quite different from Liebeck’s suit, which focused on the temperature at which the coffee was served. Liebeck essentially asserted that her coffee was unreasonably dangerous at the temperature served.

    The police officer in this case appears to be contending that the cup (i.e., the container in which the cup was served) was defective. Ostensibly, the lid popped off and the cup folded in on itself, thereby causing the spill. (Though its not clear from the news story whether he is contending that the entire product line or just his particular cup was defective.)

    Now, it’s easy to conceive of a plausible alternative scenario for the accident. For example, perhaps the officer gripped a perfectly serviceable cup too hard for some reason, rather than the cup being defective in design or manufacture. But a defective cup is not inconceivable. If something can go wrong, it generally does, at least now and again over the long term.

    I don’t think that a suit alleging that a cup caused an injury is preposterous on its face–without knowing additional facts. And I say that as someone who has been defending corporations against personal injury lawsuits for a little over a decade.

    (The claimed damages are an another issue altogether.)

  • While the value of the coffee is small, receiving free gifts while in the job seems like something which should be against any rational employers guidelines. Yeah, he has a police union that strong arms the department policy. But ‘favors’ small and large alike are all part of the entitlement and corruption system.

  • I take it back, at least in part–the officer’s claims were different than they seemed based on prior media reports. According to a story reporting on the jury verdict (for the defense), the local news reported that the officer’s lawyer’s closing argument was that: (1) Starbucks failed to put a sleeve on a Venti-sized cup despite contrary policy; and (2) Starbucks personnel failed to properly secure the lid. Those strike me as much weaker claims.

  • […] “Starbucks not liable in police coffee-spill case, jury decides” [WRAL, earlier] […]