Over the years, there have been many high-profile cases of slip and fall cases filed against the Starbucks chain. As a company primarily specializing in beverages, it’s only natural that it would face a higher than normal percentage of accidents caused by slipping on wet floors.
Slip and fall accidents can cause serious injuries, especially if people have their hands full of beverages and can’t break their fall. If you’re involved with a slip and fall accident, even if you think it’s your own fault for being clumsy, an experienced accident attorney might find relevant circumstances that put all or part of the blame on the company where you fell.
Common liabilities for slip and fall accidents include:
- A dangerous slippery surface
- A protruding section of carpeting
- Loose floor tiles
Starbucks Liability Cases That Won Big Awards
Starbucks cases have made the news with the size of the some of the punitive damages levied against the company and awarded to the victims of slip and fall accidents.
That’s not to say that Starbucks is careless, but when almost every community has one or more of the franchises, it’s likely there will be some big cases based on the law of averages. The following are some of the top cases that made the news.
Chiropractor Awarded $7.5 Million
The most famous case involves the fall of a chiropractor after he slipped on a freshly mopped floor in 2008. During the fall, he hit his head. The manager claimed that there were three conspicuously placed cones on the floor that gave adequate warning, but witnesses disagreed by claiming only one cone was placed.
The victim of the fall suffered from a concussion, and doctors later diagnosed him with a mild case of brain trauma. Under this condition, the victim was unable to return to his professional career. The lawyers for the victim won the case for him and his family and were awarded $7.5 million.
Woman Awarded $4.8 Million After Medical Complications
A woman living modestly walked into a Starbucks to splurge on a fancy coffee beverage only to receive significant injuries. Taking a trip to a coffee shop doesn’t normally raise any danger flags, but accidents can happen anytime to anyone.
The 73-year-old woman walked into Starbucks in November of 2005 and tripped over an elevated section of flooring. She fractured her leg in multiple places and required extensive surgical procedures. Unfortunately, she also developed complications from the surgery and had a stroke. She and her husband had the good sense to hire an experienced slip and fall lawyer.
Their attorney was able to prove that the franchise owner was aware of the defective flooring but hadn’t done anything to correct it or warn patrons. The woman was awarded $4.8 million. In cases of this sort, one of the following conditions must be true:
- The owner caused a spill or deformity and didn’t correct the problem
- The owner or an employee knew about the problem and took no action
- The owner should have known about the problem and was thus negligent
Woman Awarded $100,000 Because of Ill-Fitting Lid
In 2014, a woman drove into a drive-through at Starbucks and ordered a 20-ounce Venti Pie Place Roast. The lid popped off while she tried to move it to her coffee holder, and she received second- and third-degree burns from the 190-degree liquid.
The lawsuit was filed in 2015, and Starbucks argued that it wasn’t relevant to warn people of obvious risks. The jury disagreed and awarded the victim $100,000.
Slip and Fall Accidents Need Representation
You could receive slip and fall damages because of hidden threats to your balance or suspected weaknesses of food containers. Your coffee run is supposed to be safe. That’s why it’s critical to discuss your slip and fall accident with an attorney.