Caribou Coffee Class Action Lawsuit
Caribou Coffee LLC has settled a class action lawsuit charging that it violated the Telephone Consumer protection Act by sending threatening text messages to cell phone users without their permission. The lawsuit also alleged that the company sent texts which implied a desire to harm customers with the use of deadly chemicals. It also charged that the corporation used language that implied they would poison customers who did not buy enough coffee from them.
Caribou coffee is sold nationally under the name Caribou, Blue Mountain, and Caribou Keurig. The company sells a variety of coffee including flavored espresso, decaf, and decaf flavored espresso. They also sell a variety of other coffee products, including specialty coffees such as Jamaican Blue Mountain, Jamaican Bluebird, and Jamaican Bluehawk.
The lawsuit against Caribou was brought on behalf of all people who purchased coffee from the company between July 2020 and December 2020. In addition, it sought damages for all individuals who owned cell phones at the time of purchase. The lawsuit named all of these parties individually, but claimed that they collectively had a common interest in obtaining a refund. This common interest was that of protecting consumers from the potential danger of being subjected to dangerous chemicals while using cell phones.
After receiving the complaint against Caribou Coffee, the company notified everyone who purchased from them and removed the threatening words from the text messages. The lawsuit demanded that all cell phone users immediately stop using the phone and remove the threatening words from all future text messages. The lawsuit demanded that the company provide a document or guarantee that it would not send similar threatening messages in the future.
After the lawsuit was filed, Caribou Coffee changed its terms and conditions and promised not to threaten customers who did not purchase enough coffee from the company. The company also announced that it was reviewing its advertising policies. However, the plaintiffs failed to obtain any results from this promise. They then filed another lawsuit against Caribou in the state court of Massachusetts.
Both lawsuits were assigned to the district court for their respective states. On July 7, 2020, a jury trial was scheduled in the district court in Boston. In addition to the original complaint, the plaintiffs had also filed additional complaints with the Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Boston.
As part of a class action case, the jury must be unanimous in their verdict in order to award a judgment. In this case, each individual plaintiff had to demonstrate proof of liability as well as proof of damages. A settlement amount had been reached prior to the start of the trial, which had an approximate value of about $1 million. The case was scheduled to go to trial in August of 2020.
On October 16, 2020, the case was dismissed after both plaintiffs failed to secure a jury verdict. The court found that both companies were entitled to the same protections from phone harassment and determined that the trial would not yield the desired results for either party.
Caribou Coffee settled its lawsuits without admitting or denying any wrongdoing. The company was ordered by the court to pay the plaintiffs’ attorneys’ fees and costs. This meant that the case could no longer proceed. In addition, the parties agreed to a confidentiality agreement in which neither would share details of the case with third parties.
The jury found that there was no proof that Caribou Coffee intended to harass consumers by sending unwanted text messages. Rather, the plaintiffs argued that the defendants’ intentions were purely cosmetic, as was evidenced by the many favorable customer reviews that they received. on their website. Additionally, many of the plaintiffs did not receive any phone calls or texts from the defendants after buying from the company.
Other than the phone number, the plaintiffs could not contact the defendants after the purchase. They were not informed if the defendants would change their number, cease calling customers, or send the defendant’s name to telemarketers.
The case against Caribou Coffee was a class action lawsuit because it accused the company of attempting to force people to buy coffee in a store without providing reasonable warning. The plaintiffs argued that Caribou Coffee’s marketing campaign was designed to market a product in the most favorable light possible. Instead of using reasonable, truthful advertisements, the company portrayed itself as a major brand. Furthermore, the company’s advertisements and packaging provided an illusion of reliability and suggested that cell phones and the company were safe while the company was actually not licensed to sell these products.