Allergic customer sues Starbucks for allegedly serving him coffee with almond milk

Elise Solé
A Starbucks customer in Oregon is suing the coffee company for negligence after he experienced an allergic reaction to a beverage with almond milk. (Photo: Getty Images)

Starbucks customer with a nut allergy has filed a $10,000 lawsuit against the company for allegedly serving him almond milk, causing an allergic reaction.

According to a Monday complaint filed in Multnomah County Circuit Court and sent to Yahoo Lifestyle by Oregon law firm OlsenDaines, Max Scher visited the Jantzen Beach Starbucks in Portland back in May and ordered a coffee with soy milk. Instead, the claim states, the beverage contained almond milk.

Scher declined to comment further to Yahoo Lifestyle, however he confirmed that he is allergic to all types of nuts. He also told The Oregonian that he always tells employees, “Hey, I have an allergy. Please be careful.”

The allergic reaction began almost immediately. “I had three sips before my reaction started, and that’s way too much to have in my system,” Scher told The Oregonian.

The outlet reports that Scher’s throat began to itch so he ingested Benadryl and gave himself an EpiPen injection, medication that he always keeps with him, then drove himself to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center in Portland, where he vomited. Scher says that his medical expenses total $4,000 and he wants Starbucks to pay the bill. He is suing the coffee company for negligence and unlawful trade practices.

“They poisoned him,” Scher’s attorney Michael Fuller tells Yahoo Lifestyle.

Under the claim of negligence, the attorney argues that by selling coffee, it is Starbucks’ responsibility to use “reasonable care” and that employees should have known that failure to do so could cause allergic reactions “resulting in serious injury or death.”

“...As a result of Starbucks’s negligence, plaintiff had a serious allergic reaction, requiring hospitalization, incurred over $4,000 in medical bills, and experienced pain, discomfort, and interference with daily life activities,” read the claim.

The unlawful trade practices of the claim states that “Starbucks knew or should have known that the law protects consumers from unfair and deceptive trade practices, and Starbucks knew or should have known that the coffee it advertised to plaintiff as containing soy milk actually contained almond milk.”

Scher has requested a jury trial.

A Starbucks representative tells Yahoo Lifestyle, “Our partners (employees) take great care in ensuring each one of our customers’ beverages are customized as ordered. We take allegations like this seriously and are thoroughly investigating this situation.”

Read more from Yahoo Lifestyle:

Follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter for nonstop inspiration delivered fresh to your feed, every day.