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The Matassini Law Firm, P.A. Your trusted legal advisors since 1976

Woman Dies After SUV Crashes Into Starbucks


No one can be entirely certain why Starbucks is so often the target of wayward vehicles ramming through their front windows. But one Missouri family didn’t find it funny at all when a wayward driver plowed through a Starbucks and killed her. Now the family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the strip mall, the driver, and several other stakeholders in the property. Starbucks is not listed as a defendant in this lawsuit, but lawyers for the plaintiff say that they will add Starbucks to the complaint.

Allegations Made in the Lawsuit 

Premises liability lawsuits rest on the question of foreseeability. It must be foreseeable to the property owner that a serious accident or injury could happen. The plaintiff must prove that the property owner either knew or should have known about the dangerous condition and chose not to address it before someone was hurt.

So the plaintiffs need to make specific allegations against the defendants that the court would consider actionable negligence. In this instance, a similar crash occurred at the same location in the past, but the property owners never placed barriers in front of the parking spots or otherwise changed the layout to prevent cars from plowing through storefronts. They didn’t, and someone was killed. So the question of foreseeability and negligence is well established. The question then becomes: Which stakeholders have the most liability?

Unfortunately for the plaintiff, chances are, the driver of the vehicle (who has not been charged with a crime but will probably lose their license) is the primary culprit here. But the fact that the driver would have never been able to go through the storefront had concrete barriers been placed between the Starbucks and the parking lot cannot be dismissed.

Of the named defendants, only Starbucks had a comment on the lawsuit. They said that they were devastated to hear of the passing of their customer.

Is Starbucks Responsible? 

It’s unlikely that Starbucks will bear any responsibility for this lawsuit despite being named as a defendant. The plaintiffs would need to show that Starbucks either impeded the placing of barriers between the storefront and the parking lot or that there was some action within their power to take that could have prevented the accident that they never bothered to take. Typically, stores and restaurants do not have the power to influence the layout of a parking lot as a renter. So it’s unclear that Starbucks can be held liable in this case.

Wrongful Death Lawsuits 

Wrongful death lawsuits are tort actions brought by family members of the death of a loved one. Families are entitled to recover damages for emotional anguish, medical expenses incurred as a result of the accident, the deceased’s pain and suffering, and wages they would have used to support their family.

Talk to a Tampa Personal Injury Attorney Today 

If you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence, call the Tampa personal injury attorneys at The Matassini Law Firm today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help.


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