Dec. 1, 2014 By Michael Florio
An Astoria law firm representing a woman who claimed that she was burned by a Starbucks coffee overcame a significant legal hurdle in her quest for damages last month.
Devrim Cacin-Worthy, a Flushing resident represented by Sacco & Fillas, claimed in a lawsuit filed in Federal District Court that she bought a regular cup of coffee at a Starbucks in Nassau County in Nov. 2011 and moments later the lid came off and she spilled it — causing severe burns.
In court papers, Worthy admitted she did not know the coffee’s temperature, nor did she check to see if the lid was properly affixed before picking up her drink from the server.
Starbucks filed a motion to dismiss the case to avoid the possibility of a trial. However, Starbucks did not provide sufficient evidence to contradict Worthy’s account, according to District Judge Denis Hurley.
Hurley said that there was enough evidence that “reasonably supports her claim that defendants breached a duty of reasonable care.”
Further, he added, the possibility that Worthy’s own squeezing of the cup causing the lid to come off was “sufficiently remote,” and the facts establish a “reasonable probability that her injury was caused by Starbucks.”
Tonino Sacco, a partner at Sacco & Fillas representing Worthy, said “the reasonable probability is enough to take it to trial.” Nevertheless, “it still has to be proved by a preponderance of evidence; this just allows the case to go to trial.”