Gulfport attorney sues Popeyes after choking on chicken

Published: Nov. 2, 2016 at 5:33 PM CDT|Updated: Nov. 2, 2016 at 9:39 PM CDT
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GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - A Gulfport attorney who said he choked on a piece of Popeyes' fried chicken last year believes a plastic knife could have prevented all his pain and suffering. Now he's suing to get plastic knives included in all drive-thru orders and monetary compensation for himself.

Attorney Paul Newton, Jr said it all started when he went through the drive-thru at the restaurant's Pass Road location in Gulfport on November 1, 2015.

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.

Newton is asking Popeyes and several other named defendants to pay for all his medical expenses, compensate him for his pain and suffering, and award punitive damages. He also wants all future Popeyes' drive-thru customers to get a plastic knife included in their orders so  customers will 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."

Jacquelyn Stokes is equally confused about the suit.

"Behaviorally, we know about how much to put in our mouths to keep us from choking to death, and/or we would choke on every bite that we ate," added Stokes.

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