A New Jersey woman who found part of a rat in an order of fried chicken that she bought at a restaurant in Harlem has hired an attorney, and will likely bring a lawsuit against owners of the franchise. Rosemary Thomas , of Clifton Park, apparently went to the fast-food restaurant with her daughter, sister and niece in September and discovered the head of a rat in an order of fried chicken. She says that she subsequently had to take her daughter to obtain medical care because she’d spent most of the day throwing up.
Thomas kept the rat head as evidence and even posted pictures of it on Facebook. A Popeye’s spokesperson said they are attempting to work with Thomas to determine if, in fact, the item was actually part of a rat. They contend, though, that it’s most likely chicken organ meat.
If the story has a bit of a familiar ring to it, that’s because just a few months ago, a woman in Louisiana made a similar claim. In July, Sherry Luke, of Houma, Louisiana, claimed to have found a rat inside a chicken breast she ordered at Popeye’s. She also posted a picture on Facebook and had a similar response from Popeye’s.
With tainted food, a personal injury suit will likely be based on negligence. To show negligence, you need to demonstrate that the business or person who served the tainted food did not exercise the level of care that a reasonable person would under similar circumstances. In these cases, you would likely show that the owners of the restaurant did not take reasonable measures to keep the restaurant free of rats or other vermin, or failed to reasonable inspect the food to ensure that it had not been compromised.