Dedicated readers of This Week in Starbucks Crime will note that the column has of late had more of a fortnightly than a weekly sensibility. First off, thanks for noticing! Second, let us assure you that this is due not to any waning interest on our part in Starbucks crime. Our dedication to the cause remains as full as any Trenta-gulping, Starbucks-bathroom-fearing patron's bladder. It's just that, this past month, the Starbucks criminals have been keeping a low profile.
But let's not dwell on dips in mochaccino-related mayhem. Rather, let's celebrate what we have: a fantastic toiletcam lawsuit!
We begin this week in the other Washington, where this past April a 5-year-old girl on a sightseeing tour of the nation's capital discovered the existence of a hidden camera attached to the sink and pointed at the toilet where she'd just gone potty.
Her parents, William and Lindsay Yokey, alerted staff, who called the police and offered the family free cups of coffee. Apparently that wasn't quite what the Virginia-based Yokeys had mind.
The Yokeys responded by filing a lawsuit, attached below, which seeks no less than $4.4 million in damages. Not from the operator of the camera, who remains at large. But from Starbucks itself.
As Lindsay Yokey explained to WUSA9 News, "It's completely unethical. It's disgusting. And the fact that the manager didn't know what to do. 'I don't know, would you like a free coffee?' is really, really pathetic."
Starbucks released the following statement:
We take our obligation to provide a safe environment for our customers and partners very seriously. Our store partners took swift action as soon as they became aware of the issue - immediately alerting the police department and assisting in the investigation. We continue to cooperate fully with law enforcement on this matter; however, because there is pending litigation, we cannot comment on the specifics of this case. However, we can tell you that as a part of regular store operations, we monitor the seating areas and rest rooms in our stores on a regular basis to identify potential safety or security concerns.
We travel next to south Florida, where on Friday morning a 13-month-old girl was flown by helicopter to a Miami hospital after sustaining serious burns when cups of hot coffee and tea were spilled on her.
According to the Martin County Sheriff's Office, preliminary information from witnesses indicates a 13-month-old girl got burned by a spilled hot coffee and a spilled hot tea. The beverages had been put on a table.
The beverages spilled when an adult was trying to put the girl in a portable high chair that had been attached to the table.
The case was ruled accidental by authorities, so technically this is not a crime. But if you are thinking what we are thinking, then you are thinking that these parents are going to sue the living hell out of Starbucks, a la the famous McDonalds lady.
As the great Bob Marley teaches us, time alone will tell.
That's it for this week. Until next time, remember: When life gives you lemons, sue the fruitmongers for all they're worth!