Starbucks is getting sued — here’s why

It looks like Starbucks is in some hot water (or hot coffee) after being sued for underfilling its lattes. Specifically, California residents Siera Strumlauf and Benjamin Robles are suing the coffee conglomerate for “negligent misrepresentation and fraud.”

According to the lawsuit — which has been filed on behalf of those who buy “Starbucks Caffè Lattes, Flavored Lattes, Pumpkin Spice Lattes, Egg Nog Lattes, Skinny Lattes, Skinny Flavored Lattes, Vanilla Lattes, and Skinny Vanilla Lattes” — the coffee conglomerate’s lattes are “approximately 25% underfilled.”

If true, that’s a lot of latte customers just aren’t getting.


According to BuzzFeed, “Strumlauf was a regular buyer of the grande-sized plain and vanilla-flavored latte at her local San Francisco Starbucks,” but, like Robles, wouldn’t have paid $3.95 for each of them if she’d known they weren’t a full 16 oz. Of course, as BuzzFeed commenters have been quick to point out, there’s the matter of foam — specifically that if baristas filled a cup all the way, foam and all, it would spill over. Plus, weirdly, foam doesn’t last forever, which is why there’s always going to be space between the top of the liquid and the cup rim.

How much money Strumlauf and Robles (who we’re pretty sure are being represented by Jackie Chiles) are suing for isn’t specified, and even though Starbucks finds the case “without merit,” there’s a chance the company will settle just to get the pair out of their hair.

“We are proud to serve our customers high-quality, handcrafted and customized beverages, and we inform customers of the likelihood of variations,” Starbucks states.

Of course, maybe Starbucks will get away with just offering up a lifetime of free coffee and be done with it.