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Woman spends $175,000 to win $250 lawsuit from Starbucks

By Mason White 9:09 AM October 31, 2014
Starbucks store illustration  

By: Wayne Morin
A woman spent a whopping $175,000 and two years in court only to win a meager $250.

Pam Montgomery of Okemos, Michigan, sued after Starbucks stopped making coffee for a single serving machine.

Montgomery said that she bought a Tassimo coffee maker by Kraft Foods, because it was able to make her favorite Starbucks coffee. However, Starbucks ended its agreement with Kraft, which made the T-Discs for the Tassimo machine.

Instead, Starbucks made its own machine, and continues making T-Discs, which are compatible with their machines.

The woman accused Kraft and Starbucks, of misleading her and other consumers by making them buy the machine and then discontinuing the product.

However, after two years in federal court in West Michigan, a judge refused to make this a class action case.

Attorney Edward Perdue of Grand Rapids, who represented Starbucks, said that the woman does not deny that she was able to use the Starbucks T-Discs when she purchased her machine, and she does not claim that Starbucks promised to sell those T-Discs forever.

“Business agreements end, and products are discontinued all the time,” Perdue said.

The woman and her lawyer finally settled the case for $250 plus attorneys fees. Montgomery’s lawyer, Timothy McCarthy Jr., said that his fees have reached $175,000.

A judge will determine how much of the lawyer’s fee Starbucks should pay.