Man sues Starbucks over almond milk allergy

U.S. and World

(CNN) – A man in Oregon is suing Starbucks for negligence after he said they served him the wrong type of milk and that it could have killed him.

Max Scher said he’s allergic to all nuts and dairy products. He said he ordered a soy latte that day but claims the barista gave him almond milk instead, which put him in the hospital.

This incident happened last May at a Starbucks in Jantzen Beach in Portland, Oregon.

Scher said he regularly tells baristas that he’s allergic to nuts and dairy. He said he didn’t taste the difference that day but felt the effects right away.

He used Benedryl and an EpiPen but said they weren’t working so he drove himself to the hospital.

He filed a $10,000 lawsuit earlier this week.

The Multnomah County Environmental Health Services said the company can potentially be held liable.

In Oregon, there is no requirement for businesses with wait staff or baristas to list ingredients or warnings.

The only time a label is required is if it’s a grab-and-go food item.

Customers have to ask or make requests for dietary needs.

“It’s just educating the consumer when they’re going out there and make those decisions and also when we do inspections, making sure the operators know the allergens and prevent cross-contamination,” said Jeff Martin, the Multnomah County Environmental supervisor.

A representative from Starbucks said the company does not comment on any current litigation.

They also said in a statement:

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.”


Scher said he understands that mistakes happen, but just wants proper compensation to cover the medical costs that resulted from this mistake.

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