Starbucks Sued for Retracting Email Offer for Free Drink! 114 Million Lawsuit Over Free Coffee

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Last week we told you about how Starbucks retracted an offer for a free iced coffee after the email in which it was sent to a limited number of Starbucks employees in the South Eastern United States was disseminated far and wide across the Internet, well beyond the original limited distribution intended by Starbucks. The offer was only supposed to be for friends and family of Starbucks employees in a small region of the South East, but in fact, the email coupon was emailed to people and posted on blogs across the United States.

Ah yes, across the United States. The litigious United States. Where you can sue anyone for anything.


And sure enough, that’s what has happened. A woman in New York is suing Starbucks for $114 million because she didn’t get her free $1.50 iced coffee.

Well, more accurately a lawyer in New York is suing on behalf of the woman. And that lawyer came up with the $114 million figure because he figures that’s the value of the free coffee that people didn’t get, but would have gotten if Starbucks had honoured all of those extra coupons. Coupons it never intended to be created. Coupons that those people were never supposed to have in the first place.

But, says the lawyer, he hopes that other such people will join the lawsuit.

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C’mon, suing over not getting a free cup of coffee you weren’t supposed to have in the first place?

On the other hand, if that $114 million figure is accurate – if that’s how much it would have cost Starbucks in unintended and unanticipated expenses – then that just helps to prove that they were right to nip that runaway email coupon express in the bud.

In any event, legal experts, including myself, think that this lawsuit has little-to-no chance of being successful – stupid lawyer, stupid lawsuit. In fact, personally, I hope that Starbucks gets the action dismissed and then sues the woman and her lawyer for filing a frivolous lawsuit.

 

Of course, I doubt they will. More’s the pity.

But it just goes to show, as I’ve said before – sigh – 95% of the lawyers out there…

…make the other 5% of us look really bad.

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4 thoughts on “Starbucks Sued for Retracting Email Offer for Free Drink! 114 Million Lawsuit Over Free Coffee

  1. There are some laws that govern consumer advertising (see the FTC’s regs, for example), and some of them are rather hard on the merchants — even when they make good faith errors. But this offer was retracted quickly as an obvious mistake, and no one could claim actual injury. This lawyer is terribly misguided in taking on this case of blatant opportunism, even if it has technical merit or is not technically frivolous.

  2. Oh, looks like this is going to get played up as another example of a frivolous lawsuit. It will provide valuable proproganda to the anti-lawsuit coalition. In fact, I cannot help but wonder if this is not the real intent of this litigation.

  3. I think this is good example of lawyer out of control. This guy must be on drugs if he really thinks he has a case here. This I’m sure will be throw out. If not the legal system has serious problems.

  4. First Starbucks needs to make the effort to discover who originally posted the coupon and not only fire their sorry/stupid ass but consider barring them from the property forever. I’d be willing to make a small contribution to a fund aimed at dis-barment of this POS lawyer. Hang in, Gary Gordon, South Texas

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