Restaurateur Daniel Boulud must have choked on his Bordeaux when he heard this news.
A jury in New York City hit the famed chef’s Midtown restaurant, db Bistro Moderne, with a $1.3 million slap for serving a diner a piece of wire brush in a $32 plate of coq au vin.
The five woman, three man federal court jury awarded $300,000 to retired lawyer Barry Brett Thursday for injuries to his esophagus, then heaped on another $1 million as a warning to the restaurant and other eateries against using cheap metal brushes to clean dishes.
“In speaking with the jurors afterwards, they were shocked that one of the most famous chefs in the world had no oversight, no polices, no procedures, no nothing which would have prevented this incident from occurring,” said Brett’s attorney Elizabeth Eilender.
“When this jury awarded $1 million in punitive damages they wanted to send a clear message not only to the Daniel Boulud organization … but also to the entire restaurant industry that it is unacceptable to use wire brushes anywhere near food.”
Brett was dining at the midtown Manhattan restaurant in February 2015 when he swallowed the one-inch bristle. He nearly died from a resulting infection, Eilender said.
The chef and his legal team reportedly plan to appeal the decision.