Photo via Flickr user h3llbringer
The McDonald's hot coffee case of 1994—when a 79-year-old woman suffered third-degree burns from spilling a cup of coffee in her lap—has become the stuff of lore and even the subject of a documentary. Will the Starbucks iced coffee case of 2016 enjoy the same fate?It's far too early to tell. After all, it was only just this week that Stacy Pincus filed the class action lawsuit against Starbucks in Northern Illinois Federal Court. The complaint alleges that the chain's iced coffee simply has too much ice in it. Oh, and there's also this: Starbucks should pay $5 million in damages for causing this inconceivable (alleged) wrong.
Pincus claims that Starbucks is stiffing its customers out of half of the actual amount of beverage listed on their menu due to the copious amount of ice taking up space in their iced drinks. The complaint says: "The word 'beverage' is defined as 'a drinkable liquid.' Ice is not a 'beverage' by definition. Accordingly, Starbucks actually gives the customer much less beverage in the cold drinks they order and pay for."But is ice plus a liquid a beverage? Who knew that pondering the depths of the Starbucks menu could lead to such existential questions?Pincus alleges Starbucks is misleading customers: "Starbucks' Cold Drinks are underfilled to make more money and higher profits, to the detriment of consumers who are misled by Starbucks' intentionally misleading advertising practices." If you have bought an iced drink at Starbucks over the past ten years, you too can join this class action lawsuit.Naturally, Starbucks begs to disagree with Pincus's assessment of their business practices. MUNCHIES reached out to Starbucks spokeswoman Jaime Riley, who told us, "We are aware of the plaintiff's claims, which we fully believe to be without merit. Our customers understand and expect that ice is an essential component of any 'iced' beverage. If a customer is not satisfied with their beverage preparation, we will gladly remake it."The lawsuit suggests that Starbucks should put their drinks in larger cups—so that a 20-ounce Venti, for example, would consist of 20 actual ounces of iced coffee (in addition to plenty of ice).As we're certain HGTV's Vanilla Ice is painfully aware, it seems like it doesn't always pay to be Cool as Ice. Now if only somebody would sue KFC for having too many spices and herbs, 2016 would be shaping up into one hell of a year.