NEW YORK • A piece of metal wire in a plate of coq au vin could cost award-winning French chef Daniel Boulud dearly. A jury has fined one of his restaurants US$1.3 million (S$1.8 million) after a diner swallowed the wire and needed emergency surgery.
The customer, Mr Barry Brett, went with his wife in February last year to db bistro moderne in West 44th Street in Midtown Manhattan, not far from Times Square. It is one of Boulud's several restaurants in the Big Apple.
Shortly after he began eating, Mr Brett felt a foreign object lodged in his throat and had to leave the restaurant, according to court documents.
The wire eventually caused a potentially fatal infection, his lawyers said. The surgeon said the 2.5cm wire had come from a cheap grill brush.
A New York jury ruled last week that the restaurant had been negligent, awarding Mr Brett US$300,000 and fining the restaurant an additional US$1 million in punitive damages. Another US$11,000 went to Mr Brett's wife.
The restaurant opened in 2001 and is known for its gourmet burgers. Its personnel declined to comment and its attorneys were not immediately available, though one of them told New York Post that it planned to appeal.