Cop Burned by Free Starbucks Coffee Wants $50K
He says spill caused emotional distress, Crohn's flare-up
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 6, 2015 7:20 AM CDT
Did a faulty lid ruin Kohr's life?   (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
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(Newser) – A police officer's free cup of coffee could cost Starbucks $50,000 if Matthew Kohr wins his lawsuit. The officer in Raleigh, NC, is suing the coffee chain, alleging that when the lid popped off his cup of coffee in 2012, the cup collapsed on itself and he suffered burns, stress, and emotional damage when hot coffee spilled in his lap, WRAL reports. According to Kohr's lawsuit, the burn caused his Crohn's disease to flare up and he ended up having a large chunk of intestine surgically removed. The suit also claims the ordeal caused Kohr's wife to lose her "source of emotional support, her social companion, and her intimate partner," according to WRAL.

Starbucks says that since the coffee was a freebie, the usual rules on warranties don't apply. When the civil trial opened yesterday, a Starbucks lawyer argued that the worsening of the officer's Crohn's disease was a coincidence and said an officer who was with Kohr at the time of the spill disputes his version of events, WTVD reports. "The lid popped off and scared him," the lawyer said. "And he jumped. And when he did something not so unusual happened. He knocked his coffee over." The lawsuit initially named the company that made the cup and the barista who prepared Kohr's coffee but they have been dropped, WRAL reports. (A beer drinker filed a lawsuit after finding out who makes Blue Moon.)