Howard Schultz, the former CEO of Starbucks, is facing more trouble this week. Earlier, Schulz had faced some backlash for claiming to have spent more time with the military than any other candidate currently running for president. He later apologized for his errant comments.
Now, the potential presidential hopeful is being sued by a contractor who fell from a ladder while working at his Hamptons home.
According to The New York Post, Schultz required contractors working on his home to wear booties, hoping to protect his floor from getting scratched. One such worker was an electrician who was installing curtains in Schultz’s private gym. The worker was forced to remove his shoes and don soft booties — like the kind you see in surgery rooms — while installing the curtains. This practice allegedly resulted in a fall that caused the worker to fracture his spine.
According to a suit filed in Suffolk County Supreme Court, a 58-year-old worker named Julio Guerrero fell from a height of 8 feet, falling from a work ladder in June of 2017. As he was falling, the worker hit his foot on a nearby bicycle, causing him to damage disks in his back.
The worker’s lawyer, Edmond Chakmakian, told The New York Post that the fall wouldn’t have taken place if the employees hadn’t been forced to wear the slippery footwear.
“Had he not been forced to wear the booties, he clearly wouldn’t have fallen. They’re slippery by nature,” he said. “We appreciate that Schultz has nice floors, but unfortunately, this man paid for those floors with his physical condition.”
Guerrero’s daughter went on to say that her father can’t live his life like he used to, due to the injury. She described the extent of his injuries, elaborating on how her father’s quality of life had been impacted by the incident.
“He walks like an 80-year-old man with a cane,” she said. “He’s frustrated in himself. He wants to walk normally and do daily things… he can’t take a shower on his own, can’t leave the house.”
According to The New York Post, Guerrero says that he can appreciate someone wanting to protect their floors, but not at the expense of worker safety.
“I know it’s a house where everything is brand new, it’s very big and nice, but you also have to wonder about our safety as well,” he said in Spanish. “It’s [like] wearing socks in a home. It’s not stable, it’s not grounding, especially around construction equipment.”
Both Schultz’s trust and the contractor overseeing the work, Bulgin & Associates, are named in the suit. Guerrero says that he has needed surgery, and wants Schultz to pay up to cover the costs.