You Can Now Sue Starbucks for Underfilled Lattes (and 7 Other Ridiculous Food Lawsuits)
If you've ever looked at your latte and thought, "Wait, this isn't even full-full. I mean it's full, but it's definitely not filled to the brim." Get you a lawyer.
In March, a class action lawsuit was filed against Starbucks alleging the coffee company under-fills its cups by 25 percent. The suit claims Starbucks baristas have been, since 2009, filling cups a quarter-inch below the rim as per a standardized latte recipe designed to cut dairy expenses. Thus, they've been able to skimp on the actual serving size.
This past Friday, federal judge Thelton Henderson ruled the plaintiff "may seek damages for fraud and false advertising," The Guardian reports. And, in a statement, Henderson writes, "The court finds it probable that a significant portion of the latte-consuming public could believe that a 'Grande' contains 16 ounces of fluids."
Now, maybe the question isn't if Starbucks saving millions of dollars by shorting customers is wrong (because it is), but whether or not the lawsuit will bring about any effective legislation. When the suit was first filed in March, it was believed to be nothing more than a publicity stunt. Even though it's clear it's not, the laughability at an under-filled latte lawsuit remains. Maybe the negative publicity itself will be enough for Starbucks to change its milk policy. Or maybe the suit will be thrown out—because it is lattes and, after all, there are far more grande problems in this world.
Whether or not you consider under-filled latte allegations to be ridiculous, the are plenty of other lawsuits that seem to prove that you can sue for just about anything. Here are 7 other food-related lawsuits that are far, well, dumber:
1.) Starbucks: Too Much Ice
This year, another suit was brought against the coffee corporation, claiming it puts too much ice in its iced drinks. The $5 million suit says, again, Starbucks is able to skimp on the amount of actual liquid by adding extra ice, misleading customers.
2.) McDonald's: Not Enough Napkins
Two years ago, a McDonald's customer sued for $1.5 million for what he called "undue mental anguish." Why? He was given just one napkin. A fight with the manager ensued after the customer asked for more napkins (which spun off into allegations of racism and, of course, the actual lawsuit).
3.) McDonald's: Weight Gain
Two teenage girls sued the fast food corporation for obesity-related health problems, saying they loved McDonald's food, which caused them to gain weight. They were not awarded any money.
4.) Whole Foods: Cake Hoax
The grocery company was charged with printing a homophobic slur on a cake. However, the plaintiff dropped the charges, revealing the slur was completely fabricated and apologizing to the public.
5.) Anheuser-Busch: Fantasy Falsity
In the early 1990s, the beer company was sued for supposed false advertising. The plaintiff claimed T.V. advertisements for Bud Light showed the alcohol as being "the source of fantasies coming to life, fantasies involving tropical settings, and beautiful women and men engaged in unrestricted merriment." The plaintiff sued for $10,000 in damages, including emotional distress. Anheuser-Busch won.
6.) Chick-Fil-A: Against Kale
The fast food company sued an artist who wanted to print and sell the phrase "eat more kale" on T-shirts, bumper stickers, and other items. Chick-Fil-A alleged this was too close its trademarked slogan "Eat Mor Chickin." Chick-Fil-A, according to TIME, has a bit of a monopoly on "eat more," having prevented 30 other companies from using the language. In 2014, the artist won because, you know, kale and chicken (or chickin) are, in fact, not the same thing.
7.) Burger King: Soda Price
A woman sued Burger King for selling their large soda for $.89 at one location and $.69 at another location two blocks away. Burger King prevailed.