Dumb Lawsuit of the Week: Customers Claim Starbucks Is Underfilling Coffee Drinks

A couple of years ago it was the suit against Subway that the foot long sandwich was not really a foot long, and now its a claim that a cup of coffee is not really full.

In California, two Starbucks customers have filed a class-action lawsuit, alleging that Starbucks is defrauding its customers by not completely filling its coffee drinks as advertised. Apparently, the class-action alleges that Starbucks uses a uniform recipe that intentionally underfills it's latte drinks in an effort to save money on milk.

This is a "class action" lawsuit. This means that the plaintiffs who brought the lawsuit intend to represent all of those people who have purchased coffee that was allegedly underfilled. If the plaintiff's are successful in getting the court to recognize that there are a bunch of people in the same situation, then the lawsuit proceeds on a half of all those customers who allegedly received less coffee them what they bargained for.  In the end, the goal is a very large settlement with nominal compensation to the class members, and a big fat attorney fee.

Class actions serve a useful function. There are legitimate claims where large companies overcharge or underserve thousands of customers. The damage to one customer is minimal, but the cumulative effect is significant. This is not one of those cases.

Of course, Starbucks denies these allegations, explaining that customers are aware of variations in the amount of coffee provided.

Hopefully, the suit will go away quickly.




Joe Di Bartolomeo
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