In a development that has come as a shock for the cafe chain starbucks, the Company has been asked to pay a compensation of $100,000 to a woman in Florida, who got burned by a serving of Starbucks' coffee after the lid came off. The company has insisted that they were not responsible for the incident and might appeal against the verdict.

Burns caused permanent damage

The affected party, Joanne Mogavero, who suffered the burns, which have been described as first and second-degree ones, will be left with permanent scars after the lid came off her coffee and the contents spilled onto her lap at the Jacksonville outlet of Starbucks.

Mogavero was represented by the attorney Morgan & Morgan and in a statement, the law firm stated how the jury arrived at the $100,000 sum as compensation. "$85,000 for pain and suffering, physical impairment, disfigurement, inconvenience, and loss of capacity for enjoyment of life, and about $15,000 for the medical bills she had in connection with her life-altering injury." Her lawyer, Steve Earle went on to say, “My client didn’t want sympathy from the jury—she wanted justice—and the jury gave it to her with its verdict.It was good to see a just result." Although the company has denied any wrongdoing, it is important to note that the permanent scars are definitely something that swayed the jury.

Not a stray incident

Now, one might think that this is an isolated incident with Starbucks coffee but the statement released by Morgan & Morgan has provided interesting insights into the frequency of such occurrences. According to that statement, incidents related to faulty lids that lead to spillage or leaks are quite rampant and in fact, the company receives a staggering 80 complaints every month on average regarding such incidents.

As a matter of fact, an employee at Starbucks testified that the company is aware of the risks but it felt that it would be irrelevant to issue a warning to customers with regards to the danger of lids popping off. As one can see, the incident might have been an unavoidable one but if Starbucks had issued warnings regarding the dangers then it might be argued that they might have been in a better position with the jury in question.

Fortune Magazine got in touch with one of Starbucks spokespersons and the company insists that they are not in the wrong and would be appealing against the verdict. Nevertheless, it would be useful if the company started warning consumers of the potential dangers of hot coffee.

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