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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Lawsuit filed in fast food complaint

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

A Putnamville woman has filed suit against McDonald's after a January 2005 incident where she claims she was cut by a razor blade hidden inside a Chicken McNugget.

According to documents filed May 8 in Putnam Circuit Court, Lois Schilling is seeking an unspecified amount of damages from Jedele Enterprises, which owns and operates the Greencastle McDonald's restaurant at 940 E. Indianapolis Rd. The suit also names as a defendant Keystone Foods, the company which supplied the store with the chicken nuggets Schilling purchased Jan. 27, 2005.

In the written complaint filed with the suit, the alleged incident is described.

"Plaintiff (Schilling) purchased Chicken McNuggets that contained a foreign object. Plaintiff was unaware of the foreign object. As she bit into a Chicken McNugget, she bit down on the foreign object. As a result, the foreign object cut the plaintiff's mouth, necessitating medical treatment and causing a great deal of pain and discomfort," the documents filed by Schilling's attorney reads.

The narrative is similar to statements Schilling told the BannerGraphic on the day she claims she was injured.

"I actually bit through it," she told the BannerGraphic that day. "It looked like a long, thin, rectangular metal piece."

At the time of the incident, Greencastle police quickly identified the object in the suspect chicken piece as a razor blade. However, questions arose over at what point the object may have been inserted into the food.

Det. Randy Seipel, who was assigned to investigate the incident, told the BannerGraphic Wednesday he could not disclose any recent findings about the case until they had first been reported to those involved in the suit.

The criminal investigation, he said, is still open, however no charges have been filed.

"After taking the initial interviews, (Schilling) was asked to come back in (to speak with police)," Seipel said. "However, she was contacted by her attorney, and was advised not to come back in and give any further interviews."

Seipel said this may have hampered progress on the criminal investigation.

"When the reporting party is no longer coming in and giving information, it makes it difficult to investigate the case," the detective said.

In a written statement given to the BannerGraphic Wednesday, Greencastle McDonald's owner Robert Jedele reiterated comments he made in January 2005.

"Nothing is more important to me than the safety and well-being of my customers," he said. "I want to assure my customers that my restaurant has the most stringent food safety and quality standards, and we caution anyone from reaching a conclusion without all of the facts."

He added, "I take this matter very seriously, and we fully cooperated with the police in their investigation. We have no reason to believe this has anything to do with our restaurant."

According to the court documents, the suit does not ask for a specific amount of monetary restitution for what Schilling described at the time of the incident as cuts to her gums which filled her mouth with blood.

Instead, the papers read, "(Schilling) prays and demands judgment against each of the defendants in such an amount as will fully and fairly compensate her for all of her injuries and damages, for costs of this action and for all other just and proper relief in the premises."

Schilling told the BannerGraphic she could not comment on the litigation. Her attorney, James A. McGlone, Terre Haute, did not return a phone call made to his office Wednesday morning.



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