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Starbucks Tip Jars Lawsuit: Family sues coffee giant after tip jar scuffle leads to death

Starbucks Tip Jars Lawsuit: Family sues coffee giant after tip jar scuffle leads to death
FILE - In this Nov. 10, 2008 file photo, a man pulls a cart past a Starbucks store in Beachwood, Ohio. Starbucks will begin a phased-in nationwide rollout Tuesday of its Trenta cup size that can be filled with just shy of a quart's worth of iced beverages such as coffee, tea and lemonade. The nationwide rollout should be complete by May 3. (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta, File) AP

(CBS) - A Missouri family is suing Starbucks after a patron was killed while trying to prevent a tip jar robbery.

Roger Kreutz was ordering coffee from a Crestwood Starbucks on March 3, 2008, when suddenly a 19-year-old thief snatched the barista tip jar from the counter, according to the St. Louis Post Dispatch.

Kreutz chased the man, later identified as Aaron Poisson, out of the coffee shop and the two had a physical altercation near the thief's car. Kreutz was thrown to the ground after Poisson, in his rush to escape, hit him with his car, the Dispatch reported.

Kreutz later died from head injuries related to the incident.

Poiisson, of Cumming, Ga., was later arrested in St. Louis, and eventually pleaded guilty of involuntary manslaughter and was sentenced to one year in prison, the paper reported.

Now, Kreutz' family has filed a wrongful-death suit against the coffee giant, blaming Starbucks for inviting criminal activity by leaving tip jars near customers.

According to the lawsuit, obtained by the Dispatch, Starbucks "did not employ security to prevent the perpetration of such crimes" and that it "invited the act of perpetration of said crime" by having a tip jar.

Starbucks did not comment to the paper regarding the lawsuit.

The paper also reports that Poisson is not named in the lawsuit.

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