Ordering a sandwich at any restaurant typically comes with a few minor expectations. First, your sandwich is ideally served between two pieces of bread, and, barring all other outlandish scenarios, it doesn’t come with any dead rodents baked inside.
Unfortunately for one woman in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, that frightening chance-encounter with a charred rodent allegedly became reality when she bit into a Chick-fil-A sandwich last year. Now, as the Philadelphia Inquirer reports, the woman is suing the fried chicken sandwich purveyor for $50,000, accusing the chain of gross negligence and citing the "psychological injuries" she suffered during the ordeal.
The 46-year-old woman in question, Ellen Manfalouti, says she “felt something funny on the bottom of the bun,” while biting into what should have been a routine lunch last November. According to her account in the paper, it didn't take long to recognize that the foreign substance laying motionless in her meal was dead vermin. Manfalouti's co-worker, Cara Phelan, who was there at the time, also recounted the situation: “I realized it was a small rodent of some sort. I could see the whiskers and the tail." Utterly shocked and aghast, Manfalouti says she “basically lost my mind. I screamed." She later sought IV treatment for nausea in a local emergency room following the nightmare lunch.
As if her account of the story (and the visceral photographic evidence) don't indicate that a rodent infiltrated her sandwich, Manfalouti's lawyer conducted a lab analysis that proved the animal was indeed a "rat/mouse,” according to the paper. The attorney, Bill Davis, notes the legal process has been stymied by a lack of cooperation between Chick-fil-A, the local franchise owner, Dave Heffernan, and the store's bread supplier.
For his part, Heffernan told Thrillist in a statement via email: “We are aware, and the guest's allegations are being investigated. This is an ongoing legal matter, therefore we cannot comment any further at this time.”
According to Davis, all sides involved are blaming each other and shirking responsibility for the rogue critter that wound up in a sandwich. That certainly can't be very productive.
[Philly.com via Grub Street]