That same month, Starbucks said it received complaints regarding the quality of cashews, the suit said. In May 2010, Mellace said it received a termination letter from Starbucks, "indicating that no new orders would be issued due to product quality concerns," the suit stated.
On May 25, 2010, Mellace said it hired an independent laboratory to test samples and found them to be "acceptable" according to specifications provided by Starbucks.
On May 28, 2010, Starbucks told Mellace it would be still taking orders for almonds. But on June 4, Starbucks told Mellace its products were withdrawn due to concerns by the Food and Drug Administration.
After the products were returned to Mellace that month, the FDA found that "certain MFB products had in fact, been tainted by a gas leak at a Starbucks facility. No defect was found in the roasting packaging of the product, done by MFB. No concerns were found in MFB product quality," the suit said.
"The FDA investigation demonstrated that Starbucks' failure to honor the then-outstanding and promised future blanket purchase agreements was unjustified. Due to Starbucks' improper product withdrawal, and failure to fulfill its promised future BPA's and then-outstanding BPA's, MFB suffered extreme financial difficulty and was forced to close its business," the suit stated.