NEW YORK – Starbucks (SBUX) was sued Friday for $114 million over its recall last week of a coupon that entitled the holder to a free large iced drink.
Peter Sullivan, a lawyer who sued on behalf of a 23-year-old Starbucks regular who felt "betrayed" when her coupon was not honored, accused the Seattle-based company of fraud. He said he will request class-action status to include the "thousands who were misled" by the offer.
On Aug. 23, Starbucks e-mailed the coupon for the free "grande" drink to selected employees with instructions for them to forward the coupon to friends and family.
But Sullivan said Starbucks got jittery and refused to honor the coupon after the company saw how widely it had been distributed.
Sullivan said he saw lines of coupon-carrying customers outside Starbucks shops in New York, and when they could not redeem the coupons "they felt let down and angry."
A spokeswoman for Starbucks had no comment.