Hot coffee lands Raleigh officer, Starbucks in lawsuit battle
Posted March 17, 2015
Raleigh, N.C. — A Raleigh police officer is suing Starbucks, two employees and a coffee cup maker after suffering third-degree burns and blisters when his coffee spilled into his lap.
After Matthew Kohr received a cup of coffee at the Starbucks on Peace Street in January 2012, the lid popped off and the cup folded in on itself, according to the lawsuit.
Kohr said he poured cold water on the burn, but the pain intensified.
Kohr claims his injuries aggravated his Crohn's disease, and resulted in surgery to remove a portion of his intestine.
The incident, according to the lawsuit, 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 $10,000.
The Starbucks barista who prepared the drink and his supervisor were also named in the suit.
In their response, Starbucks and International Paper said Kohr should have been more careful, that safety warnings are printed on their cups and the officer's medical records show that the officer healed within a few months of surgery.
The coffee maker also mentioned that the coffee was given to Kohr free of charge and that the officer "was negligent in his use of the product."
Kohr, a lieutenant with Raleigh police's special operations division, joined the department in 1993.
A trial date is scheduled for May.