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'Rat Head' Found in Popeyes Meal Now at Center of Legal Battle

By Dartunorro Clark | September 20, 2016 3:29pm
 Thomas, who was at a Harlem Popeyes with family and found a rat's head in her food, has now retained an attorney.
Thomas, who was at a Harlem Popeyes with family and found a rat's head in her food, has now retained an attorney.
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Facebook/Rosemary Thomas

HARLEM — A woman who claimed she found a rat head in her chicken at a Harlem Popeyes has retained a lawyer.

Rosemary Thomas visited the fast-food spot on West 145th Street with family members and claimed she found the animal part deep fried in her food.

Thomas, who lives near Albany, posted an image of the head on Facebook Sunday, along with a message saying her daughter had to visit an urgent care facility later due to vomiting. She didn't mention which day she'd been at the restaurant.

The post had garnered more than 160,000 shares by Tuesday.

Now, New York personal injury lawyer Paul Ajlouny is taking up her case against the popular fried chicken chain.

Ajlouny told DNAinfo that he and the family are planning a press conference at his Long Island office Thursday.

“We’re going to allow them to take a part of the body to test it, but what are they are going to find?” he said. "It's a rat. There's nothing to test. There's a head, arm, legs and tail."

Popeyes representatives, however, are confident the object is not a rodent.

Spokeswoman Renee Kopkowski said the company has been assured by its supplier that the object is organ meat from a chicken and that testing would confirm that.

"There's no way to move forward until the product is tested by a third party," she said. 

Kopkowski added that Thomas canceled a planned meeting with the Harlem franchise owner Monday and that the company is now communicating through her lawyer to resolve the issue.

"That's not a surprise to us," she said of Thomas' retaining legal counsel.

"We've done everything we can to work with this guest directly... We're just trying to work with them to figure out when and where they would like to do that."