GULFPORT, MS -- A Mississippi attorney has dropped his lawsuit filed against Popeye's Louisiana Kitchen after he says he choked on a piece of chicken when the fast-food restaurant failed to provide him a knife in the drive-thru.
Paul Newton Jr. of Gulfport told The Sun Herald he decided not to pursue the matter further citing "extreme comments" directed at his family.
Newton says the only utensil he was given last November at the Gulfport restaurant was a spork. The lawsuit says because Newton didn't receive a plastic knife, his only option was to hold the piece of chicken with his hands and tear off pieces with his teeth, causing him to choke.
The lawsuit says Newton underwent emergency surgery to remove the piece of chicken from his throat.
According to the lawsuit filed this week, Newton bought two chicken breasts, red beans and rice, a biscuit and a soft drink. He was given napkins, salt and pepper, and a spork. Newton then drove to his nearby office and started eating, using the spork for his red beans and rice.
"Because Newton's order did not include a plastic knife, plaintiff Newton's only option for consumption of the chicken breasts was to hold a chicken breast in his hands and to tear off pieces thereof with his teeth," the lawsuit states.
That's when Newton then started to choke on a piece of the chicken. The lawsuit said he had to undergo emergency surgery at Memorial Hospital to remove it from his throat.
The suit sought payment for his medical expenses, compensation for his pain and suffering, and punitive damages. He also wanted all future Popeyes' drive-thru customers to get a plastic knife included in their orders so customers would be able to "cut their purchased food orders into appropriate portions."
“If you choke on your chicken and you have to get the chicken removed from your throat, it’s not because Popeyes didn’t apply a knife to the box,” former employee Tory Stokes said. “Maybe you should slow down eating. Nobody eats chicken with utensils.”
Information from WLOX was used in this report.
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