Missouri Starbucks Being Sued For Wrongful Death of Crestwood Man

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Wrongful death suit filed in St. Louis County Circuit Court accuses Starbucks of negligence; ultimately leading to a man’s death.

On Monday, March 7, 2011, a wrongful death suit was filed in St. Louis County Circuit Court which seeks unspecified damages from the Starbucks Corp. on behalf of the estate of Roger Kreutz and his father, Edward Kreutz Sr. On March 3, 2008, 54 year old Roger Kreutz of Crestwood was a customer at Starbucks located at 9590 Watson Road. He saw a teenager, 19 year old Aaron Poisson, snatch the tip jar and gave chase on foot.

Poisson was rushing to escape and struggled with his pursuer, Kreutz, over a car door and backed his Ford out of a parking space, knocking Kreutz to the ground. Kreutz died two days later of head injuries sustained in the encounter.

Poisson fled the scene but was later captured in St. Louis. Poisson eventually pled guilty of involuntary manslaughter and was sentenced to one year in jail. The stolen tip jar contained less than five dollars.

The wrongful death suit against Starbucks Corp. states that the Starbucks coffee shop should have known it was inviting trouble by placing a tip jar on an open counter. It alleges that Starbucks “did not employ security to prevent the perpetration of such crimes” and that it “invited the act of perpetration of said crime” by possessing the tip jar. The filing claims that as a “direct and proximate” result of this, Kreutz was killed. The wrongful death suit also states that Starbucks had a duty to “exercise reasonable care” to protect Kreutz and other persons like him or give him adequate warning against harm.

A memorial tree has been planted by the family of the decedent at the Starbucks location where the incident took place.


The A.W. Smith Law Firm in Columbia handles serious injury and wrongful death cases all over the State of Missouri. If you have questions about how to choose a law firm that is equipped to handle your wrongful death or personal injury case, please contact us today at 573-443-7300 or visit our website at www.awsmithlaw.com. The A.W. Smith Law Firm has recovered millions in settlements and verdicts in serious injury and wrongful death cases.