Starbucks In Wrongful-Death Lawsuit After Tip Jar Dispute

The estate of a Starbucks customer who lost his life after attempting to chase down a tip jar thief has filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against the java giant, alleging that the company invited crime by having an unsecured tip jar on the counter.

In March 2008, a 54-year-old customer at a Missouri Starbucks noticed a teenager swipe the coffee shop’s tip jar containing around five dollars. The man chased the pilferer into the parking lot, where a struggle ensued and the man was knocked to the ground when the thief backed his vehicle into him. He died two days later as a result of head injuries.

The thief was latter arrested in St. Louis. He entered a guilty plea on charges of involuntary manslaughter and was sentenced to a year behind bars.

But the lawsuit alleges that Starbucks is ultimately at fault for allowing an unsecured tip jar to be placed on the counter.

From the Post-Dispatch:

[The suit] alleges that Starbucks “did not employ security to prevent the perpetration of such crimes” and that it “invited the act of perpetration of said crime” by having a tip jar.

As a “direct and proximate” result of this, [the man] was killed after he was hit by the car, the filing claims.

Estate of man sues Starbucks over death [stltoday.com]