Federal Judge tosses Starbucks ice cube lawsuit

A federal judge in Los Angeles recently tossed a lawsuit in which Starbucks was alleged of misleading its customers by displacing large parts of liquids with ice cubes. The would-be class action alleged fraud, negligent misrepresentation, breach of warranty, and unjust enrichment.

According to the plaintiff, Alexander Forouzesh, a ‘grande’ iced beverage listed at 16 ounces really only contains 12 ounces of liquid and a ‘venti’ ice beverage listed at 24 ounces only 14 ounces. Claiming that the size chart does not refer to the size of the cup but to the amount of drinkable liquid, Mr. Forouzesh accused Starbucks of systematically defrauding its customers by “underfilling” their cups by adding ice.

Judge Percy Anderson tossed the lawsuit in the court’s decision of August 19th due to the fact that he believes reasonable Starbucks customers not to be deceived by Starbucks iced beverages. In his ruling he states that even young children know adding ice to your beverage reduces the amount of liquid you receive. Starbucks does also not state that cold drinks contain a certain amount of liquid. The size chart does not refer to the amount of liquid but simply to the size of the cup. Cups for iced beverages are transparent – allowing the customer to see how much ice the drink contains.

According to the Chicago Tribune, a similar case is pending in federal court in Illinois. Starbucks has filed a motion to dismiss.

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Reinhard von Hennigs