Judge Slams Customer Who Sued Starbucks Over Too Much Ice

By Published on August 25, 2016

A federal judge has tossed out a lawsuit against Starbucks that alleged the company defrauds its costumers by under-filling drinks.

The plaintiff, Alexander Forouzesh, brought the claim against the coffeehouse, claiming they defraud customers “by advertising its cold drinks as containing more liquid than they do by ‘underfilling’ its cups with liquid and then adding ice to make the cups appear full.” Forouzesh alleged that the underfilling is so pronounced that a 16-liquid ounce “grande” drink will have only 12 liquid ounces of coffee. Forouzesh claimed the underfilling practice constituted breach of warranty and unjust enrichment.

In this case, the court had to determine whether the law’s archetypal “reasonable person” would be misled by the companies labeling practices.

U.S. District Court Judge Percy Anderson quickly dismissed the case, expressing little patience for Forouzesh’s arguments. In dismissing the case, Anderson wrote that no child could possibly be misled by Starbucks’s advertising practices, much less its adult consumers.

“If children have figured out that including ice in a cold beverage decreases the amount of liquid they will receive, the Court has no difficulty concluding that a reasonable consumer would not be deceived into thinking that when they order an iced tea, that the drink they receive will include both ice and tea and that for a given size cup, some portion of the drink will be ice rather than whatever liquid beverage the consumer ordered,” Anderson wrote.

“It’s disappointing to see that the judge didn’t recognize the viability of the claims and the merits of the case,” Justin Farahi, who represented Forouzesh, told Jacob Gershman of The Wall Street Journal.

A similar suit against Starbucks is currently underway in Illinois.


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