Whole Foods: Rodent Infestation Is “An Act Of God”

There is an interesting legal dispute unfolding in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia over a persistent rodent infestation at the Whole Foods at Glover Park. The store has been closed since 2017 after being shut down twice for rodent infestation by the D.C. Department of Health. Whole Foods is arguing in an arcane contracts dispute with its landlord that the infestation is an “act of God” and out of its hands.

According to the D.C. District Judge Royce Lamberth’s latest opinion, the issue turns on the force majeure clause in the lease which allows the parties to violate conditions of the lease for extenuating circumstances caused by “acts of God, strikes, lockouts, labor troubles, plan approval delay, inability to procure materials, restrictive government laws or regulations, adverse weather, unusual delay in transportation,” and other circumstances beyond the parties’ control. Whole Foods argues that the rodents in the store are not its fault while Wical Limited Partnership, the owner of the building, says that it is. Whole Foods has brought in an expert to say that D.C. is a rodent-infested and that stores can do little, particularly this store with a nearby baseball field. Wical says that there is a large contingent of rodents living in the store and that is the fault of Whole Foods.

Whole Foods has been trying to do new construction inside the store, but Wical refuses to sign the necessary permits due to the contracts dispute. A bench trial is set for May 26th.

My problem with Whole Foods’ theory is that I thought any decision by Jeff Bezos, owner of Amazon and the Washington Post, was by definition an act of God.

20 thoughts on “Whole Foods: Rodent Infestation Is “An Act Of God””

  1. I used to work for an inventory service. One brand-new store had a backroom that was pristine, and the floor was so clean you could eat off it. They had mice. Critters aren’t stupid. They know where the food is kept and that’s where they hang out.

  2. Just round up a few hungry alley cats and they’ll take care of any rodents in the store. (Whole Foods customers wouldn’t want an exterminator spraying poison in there.) But the next step is to inspect the building and seal any holes that are allowing access. If the place has been closed for two years, making no money while they’re paying overhead, and on top of that, they’re paying Washington D.C. lawyers to argue a losing cause, I have to wonder about the competency of their management.

  3. The same business different location had one of the staff passing out ‘natural cheetos.’

    My response to the offer was “Show me the tree?”

    Never went back to any of their stores.

  4. Whole Paycheck is now Whole Pest Control of Rodentia. Word up: Aldi has very good produce at much cheaper prices.

  5. Good news concerning pest control

    I have a Praying Mantis in captivity named Thorny Rose. She refused meal offerings for 2 weeks. Chicken, turkey etc. Thorny pushes it away with her front paws. But not today. While making breakfast in the kitchen, I saw a big 2 inch water bug crawling on the floor. Put a tooth pick in it & set the bug lose in the Mantis enclosure. There was a fight. The water bug got on top of Thorny who was upside down. You could hear the legs kicking in the enclosure. Thorny decapitated the water bug after a few minutes. 2 hours later, all that was left were water bug legs & some shell casings.

  6. Whole Foods is just cleverly returning to its roots. It began in a garage in an old part of Austin, near creeks and not far from the river. There were rats. When they moved to a bona fide building space on N. Lamar Blvd, in about 1978- 80?, they were seriously flooded during the devastating Memorial Day floods. (1980 or ’81 ?) An act of God………..But they had no insurance: An act of stupidity.
    Personally, give me rats any day over the staff and “clerks” in that first store. Not only would they not make eye contact with shoppers, they would not speak to shoppers. If you were not a total hippified stoner-type, they could have cared less if you bought anything. I’m
    serious. And it was expensive if you did buy something.
    The mothership store in the past 20 years is more like a lavish carnival, offering everything and anything from chocolate fountains to organic, pc clothing, an ice skating rink in “winter”, and a seafood section that the Atlantic would envy.. The staff do speak to you now, but you rather wish they wouldn’t. Their over-the-top egos are ever-present, and enthusiasm is forced and a bit much, imo……..although haven’t been there since it was sold. Maybe Bezos has changed the overall personality? Rats might do that. LOL
    John Mackey, original owner, only paid himself $1 a year, they say.
    Jeff Bezos will probably not follow that example.

  7. JT, that last paragraph WILL get you that job at FOX you have been looking for. Another bit of advice is make sure you put Hillary’s name in there somewhere, you’ll get at least 200 plus reponces.

  8. There is a Catholic Saint for every occasion.

    Jeff Bezos should convert to Catholicism to ward off rats and redeem his soul

    St. Gertrude of Nivelles

    Patron of
    • Cats & those who love them
    • Travelers in Search of Lodging
    • Gardeners • Herbalists

    Invoked Against • Rodents • Fear of Rats & Mice • Fever

    In art, Gertrude is often depicted with mice (some say symbolizing the souls in purgatory) running up her pastoral staff. As late as the 19th century, offerings of gold and silver mice were left at her shrine in Cologne. She is still invoked against rodents and it is said that water from her well and cakes baked in her convent ovens will keep them away.
    Her power over rodents apparently accounts for her traditional patronage of cats.

    https://saintspreserved.com/purr/interesting-links/

  9. Pedophile Priests’ conduct is an Act of God. And God spelled backwards is Dog. Whole Foods needs to hire some dogs and some Pedophile Priests to get rid of the rats.
    What they could do is use the dead rats for meatloaf and sell it at a fair price.

  10. I am on the side of Whole Foods. I live in a scorpion path. Regardless of what you do, year after year scorpions march towards the house and the houses next to me. It is an “Act of God” and I am not sure that I have to pass that on to the next owner.

    1. Paul:
      False equivalency. One’s a migration in a desert and the others a sanitation problem at a grocery store. I don’t think the rats are marching to the sea, just the unswept garbage.

      1. Cindy Bragg – they are more dangerous to pets and children. Humans just get a little numbness that goes away after a couple of days.

    2. Paul

      You need to have someone dress up as a scorpion, mingle with them, and arrest them for various crimes (trespassing, etc.). Yes, you guessed it- an undercover sting operation.

      1. Don de Drain – it is easier to just kill them. They are not a protected species, so no one really cares if you kill them. In fact, some exterminators specialize is scorpions. They really don’t have many friends.

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