Local News

Jury still deliberating in Starbucks lawsuit

Posted May 8, 2015

— A Raleigh police officer who sued Starbucks after he suffered third-degree burns from a spilled cup of coffee will have to wait until Monday to learn whether a jury will award him damages in the case.

Jury members in the civil suit returned from deliberations shortly after 6 p.m. Friday and told the judge they were 11-to-1 on a decision. The judge adjourned for the evening and instructed the jury that he would declare a mistrial if they could not reach a unanimous decision.

Matthew Kohr is seeking compensation totaling $750,000 after he said a faulty cup handed to him at the Starbucks on Peace Street in Raleigh collapsed, spilling the contents across his lap. His wife, Melanie Kohr, is also a plantiff in the case.

Kohr said the trauma of the burn set off his Crohn’s disease, and he needed surgery to remove a portion of his intestine. He spent months on sick leave and struggled to return to work at his job as a lieutenant with the special operations division.

"There was this black cloud hanging over him, and he would try so hard to get out of that and go back to work," Melanie Kohr told the jury Thursday. "It was the most challenging year of my whole life."

Defense attorneys, however, argued that Kohr was battling with illnesses and anxiety prior to the incident.

Per Starbucks' policy, Kohr received 50 cups of free coffee over two months for being in uniform. In order for Kohr to accept it under department guidelines, he placed the equivalent amount of the cost of the coffee in the tip jar on every occasion.


Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • Mark Farmer May 10, 2015
    user avatar

    this is why McDonalds Stopped Selling There Deep Fried Apple Pies Back In 1994

  • Susan Borgesi May 10, 2015
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    There's no drive thru at that location. He was inside and had begun to sit down when it happened.

  • Melvin Denis May 10, 2015
    user avatar

    So if he got coffee from the drive through window. He then got out, went inside and put money in the tip jar. Righttttt

  • David Bunn May 9, 2015
    user avatar

    A shame to think he was member of such a fine profession.

  • Mike C May 9, 2015
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    Not to mention the police department that he was/is a part of.

  • Mike C May 9, 2015
    user avatar

    This should be a no brainer for the jury. They should tell him to put on his big boy bloomers and get a life!

  • Andy Pittman May 9, 2015
    user avatar

    I won't be giving anyone anything for free in the future. Too scared of a lawsuit!

  • Norman Lewis May 9, 2015
    user avatar

    The only reason the jury should still be "deliberating" is if they are laughing so hard at the ridiculousness of the case they cannot bring themselves to deliver a verdict.

  • Steven Cousler May 8, 2015
    user avatar

    A third degree burn from hot coffee? Only if it was sprouting flames. One lie = destroyed credibility. Stop wasting everyone's time and throw this thing out. What's the first thing a normal person would do when they spill something hot on their clothes? Stand up and get some separation from the hot liquid soaked fabric, then go to the IR if it really burned you badly. Not sit there in pain all the way home to take pictures.

  • Amy Clayton May 8, 2015
    user avatar

    i think I will go to starbucks and smash a cup on me.........what a great idea for the future of my income!!!! sue and live the great life!