db Bistro Moderne
Retired lawyer Barry Brett received more than he bargained for when he was served a piece of wire from a metal cleaning brush in his $32 plate of coq au vin in February 2015 at db Bistro Moderne, the Midtown restaurant in New York City owned by top celebrity chef Daniel Boulud.
Brett was awarded $300,000 in damages for injuries to his esophagus after swallowing the 1-inch bristle, and the restaurant received an additional $1 million penalty for the use of cheap metal brushes near food, the New York Post reported. The hefty fine serves as a warning, not only to Boulud, but also to the rest of the food industry, of the potential dangers of metal wire brushes in restaurant kitchens.
The Centers for Disease Control issued a warning in 2012 about a wire brush made in China being used in commercial kitchens, which was presented during the four-day trial by Brett’s attorney.
The jurors said they were shocked that such a high-profile, Michelin-starred chef had no preventative measures for incidents such as these, the Post reported.
The restaurant’s lawyer said he planned to appeal the verdict.