Officer suing Starbucks for $50,000 over spilled cup of coffee

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RALEIGH, N.C. (WRAL) – A police lieutenant in North Carolina is asking for compensation for physical and emotional damage after spilling a cup of coffee on his lap.

Starbucks argues that there is no implied warranty with the coffee, especially because the officer didn’t actually pay for the cup of joe.

When you are running out of a coffee shop like Starbucks, a warning on the cup may be the last thing you notice.

It’s that safety label that has come under fire in a North Carolina courtroom.

Officer Matthew Kohr received a free cup of coffee from Starbucks in January of 2012.

Kohr says the lid popped off and the cup folded in on itself, spilling its contents into his lap.

As the judge listened to motions from both sides, the cost of the coffee came into question.

Starbucks claims that he was required to be in uniform to qualify for the free coffee, making it an agreement.

The judge says generally, there must be a sale of a product in cases like this for there to be an implied warranty issue.

“I do not believe that there are any warranties associated with this product that travel from Starbucks to your client,” said Judge Donald Stephens, with the Wake County Superior Court.

Kohr’s attorneys claim his injuries aggravated his Crohn’s Disease, and resulted in surgery to remove a portion of his intestine.

He says it also caused Kohr’s wife, Melanie, a loss of a ” source of emotional support, her social companion and her intimate partner.”

Kohr is seeking compensation, including damages, attorney fees and medical costs, totaling more than $50,000.

A jury will be left to decide who is left with the bill.

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