Four former employees of the exclusive Philippe restaurant in New York have filed a lawsuit which alleges that the luxury New York hotspot maintains room wherein A-list celebrity guests and VIPs are allowed to smoke marijuana.
The employees have stated that they filed the lawsuit because the restaurant forced the servers to attend to patrons who were smoking the illegal substance, thereby exposing the staff to toxic smoke and harm. The employees also allege that they were dismissed from their posts when they went to managers with their concerns about the harm to which they may be exposed. The lawsuit, filed in New York state, does not name names of the celebrities who are alleged to have indulged in cannabis while at the restaurant, although it is mentioned that rappers Rick Ross and Nicki Minaj are part of Philippe’s star-studded clientele.
Stratis Morfogen, CEO of the Philippe Chow Restaurant Group which owns the restaurant in question, responded to the lawsuit by saying that it is simply a “form of extortion. We do not allow smoking of legal cigarettes in our restaurants, so obviously we strongly deny these ridiculous accusations,” Morfogen stressed. This is not the first brush with the law for the Philippe Chow Restaurant Group; Morfogen and the restaurant Philippe were previously found guilty of false and deceptive advertising. In that case courts found the group and its CEO guilty of conduct to gain personal profit from the Mr. Chow restaurant chain, which is owned by famed restaurateur Michael Chow.
With so many big names on trial, both in the world of celebrity and restauranteurs, this case will surely continue to dominate headlines.