Starbucks attorneys point finger at officer in spilled coffee case
Attorneys for Starbucks, the defendants in a Raleigh civil suit, went on the offensive Tuesday in opening statements in the case of a police officer who spilled hot coffee on himself.Posted — Updated
Matthew Kohr, a lieutenant with Raleigh police's special operations division, and his wife, Melanie, are suing the coffee chain, for injuries he suffered and the emotional toll of his recovery. After Wake County Senior Resident Judge Donald Stephens agreed to allow for punitive damages as well, the case could be worth $750,000.
Derr argued that it was Kohr who was negligent and that it was his pre-existing condition the caused his problems.
Kohr claims he suffered burns and blisters and required surgery to remove a portion of his intestine. His wife is seeking compensation for a loss of companionship.
"As he withdrew, Melanie lost her husband," Johnson said. "He was somebody different than who she knew before. She was trying to help him, but he was just not there for her."
In his testimony, Kohr said he felt like he was not able to be a husband or a father during the 18 months of his healing process.