It isn’t unusual for a barista to occasionally mess up an order – especially if the coffee shop is very busy. Normally, nothing comes from these mistakes, except for an annoyed customer. But currently, Starbucks is getting sued after a worker has allegedly made a mistake that landed a man in the hospital.
34-year-old Portland, Oregon-based Max Scher is suing the coffee chain giant for $10,000, after he was served coffee made with almond milk instead of soy. Scher suffers from a life-threatening nut allergy, meaning the mistake had major consequences.
The alleged accident occurred in May, but Scher’s lawsuit was filed on Monday in Oregon’s Multnomah County Circuit Court. Portland-based attorney, Michael Fuller, is representing Scher.
Scher said to The Oregonian that he’s a Starbucks regular. Each time he places his order, he says he always cautions those taking his order to “be careful” because he is severely allergic.
On the day that this incident allegedly took place at a Starbucks in Jantzen Beach, Scher said that when he grabbed his drink, the side of the cup was labeled “soy milk” – so he unsuspectingly didn’t clock anything was wrong.
“I had three sips before my reaction started, and that’s way too much to have in my system,” he stated.
Scher soon realized there had been a mix up after his throat began to itch. He immediately took two Benadryl pills, as well as administering himself an EpiPen injection. He ended up driving himself to the hospital when both treatments were doing nothing to help him.
Scher says he was vomiting by the time he made it to his nearest emergency center. That’s when his throat began to swell shut and breathing became a difficult task with a tightened chest.
While Scher claims health insurance, his allergic reaction wracked up significant costs as a result of the barista’s mistake. He is choosing to seek a lawsuit against Starbucks in order to help cover the costs.
“The point of my lawsuit is I just can’t afford my medical bills, and it doesn’t feel right that I should have to spend over $4,000 because they made a mistake,” Scher said.
A Starbucks representative spoke out regarding Scher’s lawsuit saying, “Our partners (employees) take great care in ensuring each one of our customers’ beverages are customized as ordered. We take allegations like this very seriously and are thoroughly investigating the situation.”