On May 21, 2019, Mr. Wigdor filed a widely publicized putative class action lawsuit against Starbucks Corporation (“Starbucks”) alleging that over a period of three years, Starbucks stores throughout Manhattan were permeated with a toxic pesticide call Dichlorvos (2,2-dichlorovinyl dimethyl phosphate or “DDVP”), which is highly poisonous and unfit for use in proximity to food, beverages and people.
DDVP is an active ingredient emitted into the air by products called “No-Pest Strips,” which are only intended to be used in unoccupied structures to rid such structures of vermin, bugs and insects. The label on these products clearly warns: “Do not use in the food/feed areas of food/feed processing or food/feed manufacturing or food/feed service establishments,” and “Do not use in kitchens, restaurants or areas where food is prepared or served.”
The Complaint alleged that on numerous occasions over the last several years, Starbucks’ employees and third-party exterminators warned the company’s regional and district managers — both verbally and in writing — about the improper and dangerous use of No-Pest Strips throughout its stores in Manhattan. However, as alleged, despite being repeatedly made aware of the dangerous risks associated with DDVP exposure, Starbucks continued to use No-Pest Strips in its stores.