Cop Sues Starbucks Over Spilled Free Coffee: Police Officer Sues Starbucks For $50K After Spilling Free Coffee On Himself

Heather Tooley

A North Carolina cop sued Starbucks after spilling free coffee on himself.

The New York Daily News writes in its report that the incident occurred at a Raleigh Starbucks back in January, 2012. Now, Matthew Kohr is suing the company for $50,000 as compensation for all of the health issues it allegedly caused him following the spill.

WRAL reports in-depth on the lawsuit. Kohr claims he suffered burns, blisters, and emotional damage after the free coffee spilled on him. The officer wants the money to cover damages, medical bills, and attorneys fees. Burns that Kohr claims to have suffered worsened his Crohn's disease, which forced him to go under the knife to have his intestine removed.

What's more, the lawsuit reveals that the police officer's wife -- Melanie -- lost "a source of emotional support, her social companion, and her intimate partner" because of the spill.

Attorneys for Starbucks counter the suit by saying Kohr didn't purchase the coffee, therefore they shouldn't compensate him.

According to the claim, Kohr states that the coffee lid popped off the drink and the cup folded into itself, spilling the free coffee.

The Starbucks employee who prepared the free coffee was named on the lawsuit at first, but was eventually dropped.

Several components to this story have already been measured by Starbucks over this $50,000 lawsuit. For one thing, the cost of the cup of coffee was brought up. Lawyers for the coffee giant say that since Kohr didn't pay for the free coffee he spilled on himself, that it doesn't apply to the same warranty a typical purchase would.

Starbucks sells about four billion cups a year made by International Paper, and there have reportedly only been 59 incidences like Kohr's.

Jury selection for the case launched Monday afternoon and later this week is when testimony is expected to get underway.

ABC 7 News published what some customers of the same Starbucks that the cop is suing had to say about the allegations.

"It's a tough predicament. I think, when something like that happens, especially given that it was a free cup of coffee. I think, you know, they are trying to go out of their way and do something good for somebody who is putting their life in the line of duty every day," says Max Isaacson.

"It's easy to sue anyone for anything these days. The fact that he dropped hot coffee in his lap, he needs to take responsibility for his actions," adds Amber Mohammad.

Starbucks isn't able to comment on the case, but did release a statement.

"At Starbucks, the safety of our customers and partners (employees) is our top priority and we take our obligation to provide safe products very seriously.

[Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images]