CJAC: Civil Justice Association of California

Aug 26, 2016

Maybe an amusing case, but lawsuit is no laughing matter

Daily Journal
September 13, 2016

By Kim Stone

In a victory for common-sense, a federal judge dismissed the lawsuit against Starbucks for having ice in its iced coffee and iced tea.

The plaintiff’s lawyer, Justin Farahi, is a 2013 graduate of Loyola law school and advertises on his web site that he is a “personal injury and accident lawyer.” His lawsuit alleged that Starbucks was defrauding its customers because a Tall drink is not really 12 ounces of drink because some of it is ice. The plaintiff, Alexander Forouzesh apparently believes himself to be a class action savior, acting on behalf of everyone who bought a cold drink at Starbucks from April 2006 until the present.

Starbucks responded that its iced beverages met the expectations of reasonable consumers, and the judge, Percy Anderson, agreed. When I told my 12-year-old daughter, a big fan of Starbucks iced tea/lemonade combos, about the case, she said, “Why didn’t he just ask for light ice?” The judge may have been hanging out with wise pre-teens too because he wrote:

“As young children learn, they can increase the amount of beverage they receive if they order “no ice.” 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 cup size, some portion of the drink will be ice rather than whatever liquid beverage the consumer ordered. This conclusion is supported by the fact that the cups Starbucks used for its Cold Drinks, as shown in the Complaint, are clear, and therefore make it easy to see that the drink consists of a combination of liquid and ice.”

To read the full op-ed, click here.

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