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Casualty FPN - Friday, March 25, 2022

Man sues Starbucks for allegedly serving him cleaning solution instead of coffee
Man sues Starbucks for allegedly serving him cleaning solution instead of coffee
Publication Date 03/23/2022
Source: International Business Times


  • The alleged incident happened at a Starbucks outlet in Greenwich
  • The lawsuit said the man was left with severe gastrointestinal issues, nausea and diarrhea
  • He is seeking more than $75,000 in punitive damages

A connecticut man is suing Starbucks, claiming that he was served a toxic cleaning solution instead of the coffee he ordered at one of its outlets.

A lawsuit filed Tuesday is seeking over $75,000 in punitive damages for the “horrible experience.” 

Matthew Mitchell visited a Starbucks in Greenwich last August and ordered a standard black coffee, the lawsuit said, Complex reported. The man from Fairfield County thought he received his order when a Starbucks employee handed a drink over to him.

“In short, Starbucks, rather than serving Mitchell the coffee for which he ordered, instead poisoned him with a toxic chemical, Urnex Urn & Brewer Cleaner, on August 30,” read the 13-page lawsuit, according to the New York Post.

“However, after Mitchell took a gulp of the purported ‘coffee,’ which he swallowed, he realized that he had just ingested a then-unknown toxic substance,” the lawsuit filed in Connecticut District Court read.

Mitchell’s lawyer, Joe Tacopina, said his client began feeling a burning sensation in his throat, mouth and stomach after drinking it. He also started feeling sick and began coughing incessantly, according to the lawsuit.

When Mitchell opened the lid, he found that his drink had a blue shade and wasn’t exactly the brew he ordered. The horrified customer reportedly suffered a severe dizzy spell and nausea.

When Mitchell informed the Starbucks manager about his drink, he was told that a “new employee” was behind the goof-up. The employee allegedly did not know that the coffee machine was filled with a strong cleaning solution to dissolve the residue inside and then unknowingly poured the drink for Mitchell.

The man was left with a “lingering chalk taste” and severe gastrointestinal issues, nausea, diarrhea and pain in his tongue and mouth after consuming the chemical solution, the lawsuit alleged.

“This terrifying incident also triggered and greatly worsened his previously diagnosed PTSD, depression and anxiety, which led to heightened emotional trauma and distress,” it added.

Two other customers had also reportedly filed lawsuits against the world-famous chain after drinking the Urnex-laced concoction.

A Starbucks spokesperson said the Seattle-based company is investigating Mitchell’s allegations.

“Our baristas take great care in crafting beverages and providing a safe experience for our customers,” the spokesperson said in a statement to the New York Post. “We take this obligation seriously and are reviewing Mr. Mitchell’s claims.”

“Starbucks was on prior notice of such poisonings at its stores but did nothing to prevent it. This multi-billion dollar company clearly chose to cut costs instead of implementing appropriate safety measures to prevent such incidents. That is the most disturbing and egregious part of this case,” Tacopina said.

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