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California judge dismisses Starbucks iced coffee lawsuit

DBR Staff Writer Published 25 August 2016

A California federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit which accused Starbucks of deceiving customers by using more ice and less liquid.

The judge ridiculed the plaintiff and his lawyers for filing the case in the first place.

According to the judge, any reasonable adult customer would know that some portion of the iced drink would include ice which can be clearly seen in the cup. The judge added that even a child could understand this fact.

The lawsuit was filed in Los Angeles federal court on behalf of plaintiff Alexander Forouzesh in June.

It accused Starbucks of selling iced coffee and other cold beverages with significantly less product than advertised.

Elaborating further, it said that the coffee chain company concealed the actual space taken up by ice cubes in the cup in its listed sizes of beverages.

United States District Court for the Central District of California Judge Percy Anderson in his decision wrote: “If children have figured out that including ice in a cold beverage decreases the amount of liquid they will receive, the Court has no difficulty concluding that a reasonable consumer would not be deceived into thinking that when they order an iced tea, that the drink they receive will include both ice and tea and that for a given size cup, some portion of the drink will be ice rather than whatever liquid beverage the consumer ordered.”

Following the judge’s dismissal of the case, the lawsuit has failed to reach the argument stage in the court.

Starbucks is facing a similar lawsuit in Chicago which was filed in May. A women sued the coffee company with a $5m lawsuit for allegedly underfilling its cold drinks.

The company has stuck to its version for both the cases saying that ice is an essential component of any iced beverage and customers are free to order light ice or extra ice.


Image: Starbucks Center in Seattle, Washington (headquarters of Starbucks Coffee). Photo Courtesy of Coolcaesar/Wikipedia.