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Chili's sued for needle in food: N.M. woman says it pierced her tongue while eating mashed potatoes

Chili's sued for needle in food
AP Photo, file

(CBS/AP) FARMINGTON, N.M. - A New Mexico woman says she got more than a mouthful when she dove into her plate of ribs and mashed potatoes at a local Chili's restaurant - she also got a tongue piercing free of charge.

Ashley Phillips says she pulled a 2-inch long sewing needle from her mouth at the Chili's in Farmington last July, after it pierced her tongue.

The 23-year-old says Chili's employees quickly took the needle, and a manager refused to give it back when she and her husband returned to request it for testing.

"We have reason to believe that the needle belonged to a member of the cook staff and was used to clean his marijuana pipe," attorney Mitch Burns, who is representing Phillips, told the Farmington Daily Times. "We also have reason to believe that there was ongoing usage of marijuana that was known by all the employees and the management."

Phillips says she's suing the Chili's chain because the company took 52 days to send the needle to a lab. She says she's since tested clean for HIV, Hepatitis and other possible infections, but had to stop nursing her baby in the meantime.

Representatives of Chili's Restaurant and Grill and Chili's Inc. declined to comment Wednesday.

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