Lawyer Choked by Chicken – Drops Lawsuit

Acadia Einstein


The other night we had our friends over to watch Walking Dead and in honor of what happened in the season premiere we planned on serving Popeye’s Chicken.  Get it?  POP EYE?  Well, even if you don’t, I am pretty sure that the number of times you have eaten Popeye’s (or any other fast food fried chicken for that matter) with a knife and fork is zero.  Well Mississippi lawyer Paul Newton Jr. was in the same boat you put yourself in on purpose.  No knife.  No fork!  Just a spork.  And wouldn’t you know it, he LITERALLY bit off more than he could chew and choked!  And then he decided he was going to sue them.

Newton said the only utensil he was given last November at the Gulfport restaurant was a spork. The lawsuit said that because Newton didn’t receive a plastic knife, his only option was to hold the piece of chicken with his hands and tear off pieces with his teeth, causing him to choke.

See why everyone hates lawyers?  Dude can’t control how far he opens his mouth so it’s Popeye’s fault?  What if someone gives him a drink with an ice cube in it?  The jokes are pretty endless, but this guy apparently did have to have emergency surgery to get the hunk of chicken out of his throat.  His lawsuit wanted damages and a new rule that Popeye’s give drive through customers knives.

But after public outrage and “extreme comments directed at him and his family” the lawyer has dropped the suit.  And you know, I am not sure that’s right, either.  Being able to file stupid lawsuits is part of the backbone of America.  And if big companies find out that they can whip up the Internet to bully people into not suing, you think they won’t try it?  

Remember the lady that sued McDonald’s because their coffee was hot and everyone made fun of her?  It was in 1992 and their was no Internet but basically everyone said some variation of “derh”.  But here are a few facts about that case I didn’t know until I looked them up for this story.

  • McDonald’s required its franchisees to have its coffee be between 180 and 190 degrees.
  • 190 degree coffee will cause 3rd degree burns in between 2-7 seconds.
  • McDonald’s refused to pay her $10,000 medical bills prior to the court case.  They offered $800.00
  • The jury awarded $2.7 million in punitive damages because that was how much McDonald’s made selling coffee every two days.
  • It was eventually dropped to less than $600k

So what do you think?  Are we too litigious a society or do we need to be able to sue without fear of public ridicule because the alternative is a lack of justice?  I know there are a lot of dumb lawsuits, but isn’t that for the courts to decide?  Sound off below!

I have run the site since 2005. And I have to say I am pretty damn proud of it. I wrote the book Whalewolf (sold on and am not even close to tired so I am just going to keep going. I was born in Portland, Maine and I currently live in New York and Charlotte, North Carolina. I keep hoping that at some point all these weird rebels are gonna say: "SURPRISE!" and act normal. Eight years and counting....


  1. Cider
    November 4, 2016 at 8:20 am

    This is one of the absolute most stupid things I have ever heard. Nobody cuts up their fried chicken with a knife and fork, guy. Who are you kidding? Also, he went through the drive-through? And brought his chicken home to a house where, what, he had no silverware except the spork Popeye’s gave him? Dude, your silverware problems are not Popeye’s fault. Lastly, chew your food correctly. This should have been thrown out of court for pure stupidity. No.

  2. Bigscrod wants cake
    November 4, 2016 at 10:18 am

    No. Never. And this is why too many things have increased price because someone is too dumb to figure it out and then they either cost the company tons on a lawsuit, or worse a state legislature makes a new law requiring knives at every drive thru. I was thinking about something similar the other day, as I was getting up early and saw this flashing. It was the strobe on top of a school bus. A 40 foot long yellow bus with red lights all over it was not enough, they have to put a damned strobe on top to make sure that it is seen. (No, I do not know exactly why the strobe is there, nor could I give a shit).


  3. Imaobong
    November 4, 2016 at 7:47 pm

    Lol this cracked me up!
    He choked on his chicken and that was someone else’s fault?
    Personally, biting off pieces from my chicken is the best way to go
    Never heard this stories before today but it’s rather ridiculous that people went to court for them 😀

  4. Divya @ Eat. Teach. Blog.
    November 4, 2016 at 8:10 pm

    I heard about this today! People are crazy. I always say we are a “sue-happy” country

  5. Mindy@FarmFitLiving
    November 4, 2016 at 10:07 pm

    Why is it so easy to sue? There are a lot of costs involved. Do people really have money to throw away and think they are going to win their rediculous case?

  6. Hugo Whistle
    November 4, 2016 at 10:45 pm

    So the chicken choked him ? Sounds like it was the other way around.. cuz he is a jerk off..

  7. Sheri
    November 5, 2016 at 2:20 am

    People just love suingin the USA. In Austria a judge would not entertain a case like this. Common sense is no longer very common.

  8. Alicia
    November 5, 2016 at 10:37 am

    This is stupid really. People will make a case and try to sue for anything basically, in the United States. You would think he’d have a lot more common sense being a lawyer.

  9. Blair Villanueva
    November 5, 2016 at 11:11 am

    I agree with Sheri, in US seems suing is like eating breakfast. They even remorseless sues their parents, through the simple disputes can be solve through mutual understanding as family. Its so sad that basic understanding as human are lost in US.

    Oh not all hate lawyers. I love my lawyer friends 🙂

  10. Maple Syrup and Teacups
    November 5, 2016 at 11:59 am

    Good heavens you can file a suit for something that stupid! What happened to common sense!?

  11. Amber
    November 5, 2016 at 2:35 pm

    People need to chill on the dumb suing crap. It makes America look stupid.

    And I got your Pop Eye reference 😉

  12. Amanda C McNeil
    November 5, 2016 at 2:44 pm

    That particular case was sad because she was elderly and needed surgery because of it! But in general, yes, I think people are way too quick to sue.

  13. Mihaela Echols
    November 5, 2016 at 4:12 pm

    I’ve learned this a long time ago that people can sue but sometimes the case doesn’t go through. So this guy a long time ago sued God for not making it rain on a sunny day to prove it. You can sue anyone but it might not go through.

  14. lipstickandpuppykisses
    November 5, 2016 at 5:35 pm

    It’s crazy the things people will do for a buck. Thank you for sharing…..great eye reference by the way!

  15. Chloe
    November 5, 2016 at 5:48 pm

    Sometimes I wish that I had enough money and a little bit of crazy to sue someone for something ridiculous haha. People can get away with so much these days! Chloe

  16. Rose
    November 5, 2016 at 9:00 pm

    I think it takes all kinds of people to make the world go round. Some are here to lead, some follow and others are here to entertain us.

  17. Jasmine Espinal
    November 5, 2016 at 11:17 pm

    People with too much time on their hands always find a reason to sue. Sad.

  18. katrinajeancarter
    November 6, 2016 at 12:11 am

    lol I love popeyes and thank for reminding me Glen’s poor fate in the show 🙁 this is funny to me although I would’ve just asked for a knife if I really wanted one. When it comes to public ridicule it is what it is. He knows what age of the internet we are on and its bound to happen not only to people suing for stupid stuff but people who put their business out there in general.

  19. Jamie Yonash
    November 6, 2016 at 8:33 am

    I thought the suit was stupid and a waste of the court’s time. Ridiculous lawsuits cost tax payers money in the long run. It is just another way people try to get out of taking responsibility for anything.

  20. Jill Wiley
    Jill WileyReply
    November 6, 2016 at 10:29 am

    Oh America. Sue happy! So ridiculous the amount of lawsuits out there… and that people take advantage of the system.

  21. fashionphases
    November 6, 2016 at 2:11 pm

    I don’t want to judge whether people should not sue or not. It is up to a professional judge to analyze that. But what needs to be done is something about cyber bullying. It is outrageous how people are getting away with harassing other people on the internet especially during this election.

  22. fashionphases
    November 6, 2016 at 2:11 pm

    *I meant to say sue or not sue.

  23. crystal
    November 6, 2016 at 3:38 pm

    I’ve never had their food before but it does look good

  24. Nina Bashaw Photography
    November 6, 2016 at 4:22 pm

    That’s just crazy. People are insane

  25. Ana Ojha
    November 6, 2016 at 5:17 pm

    Oh Lord! How crazy it is to file case for something like this! I don’t want to give my opinion and I will leave it to professional judge!

  26. Ashlea
    November 6, 2016 at 6:15 pm

    I know a lot of people will just file a suit just to file one. Which it is crazy but others have legitimate law suits and are made fun of because of it so just stop. Why it is anyone elses business if they sue a company or not who knows.

  27. Akhil Sharma
    November 6, 2016 at 6:50 pm

    I think we should never take advantage of law, and use it to get justice only. This great system is designed to help the society, not to damage it.

  28. shopannies (@shopannies)
    November 6, 2016 at 8:36 pm

    I am never sure what to think it seems we are all suit crazy when something happens
    come see us at

  29. Nicole Haas Etolen
    November 6, 2016 at 9:38 pm

    Oh my goodness! That one looks tempting. I’m craving for this chicken.

  30. Nicole Haas Etolen
    November 6, 2016 at 10:00 pm

    I never thought that I could use this lawsuit to get a justice. Some people are insane.

  31. DogVills
    November 6, 2016 at 10:05 pm

    People are easy to sue, especially in stupid things lol.

  32. Gervin Khan
    November 6, 2016 at 10:24 pm

    Agree with Akhil, we should never use law to get a justice.

  33. Jenni Petrey
    Jenni PetreyReply
    November 7, 2016 at 4:45 am

    That is just crazy, there are some things that should never have made it a court.

  34. Terri Ramsey Beavers
    November 7, 2016 at 9:05 am

    I’ve been watching the walking dead and I love Popeyes. It’s crazy what people sue about these days.

  35. Lisa Rios
    November 7, 2016 at 9:40 am

    When ever I hear about such suing cases I always feel that people are just taking advantage of the system we have and infact many have started using it as a way to make some quick money. We love Popeye’s Chicken so much a great choice for movie nights!

  36. Bethanny Sudibyo
    Bethanny SudibyoReply
    November 7, 2016 at 12:46 pm

    I think this is really a first world problem. What this lawyer does not realize, many parts of the world actually have traditions with eating with bare hands. I do it, my family does it, and we love it. Do we sue anyone if we choke? Nope, because we know it’s not anybody’s fault. As for big companies persuading others to make people drop charges, I don’t think a company has that big of an impact especially if the companies are the ones guilty, but this is just a thought though.

  37. Elizabeth O.
    Elizabeth O.Reply
    November 7, 2016 at 1:29 pm

    I would have to agree. There are times wherein you’re going to question society for the lawsuits that they’re filing! I think this is hilarious but also sad for the companies that fell victim to the lawsuits.

  38. Ari
    November 7, 2016 at 2:33 pm

    People are crazy. Nowadays, we’ll sue over anything… Ay ay ay.

  39. Angela
    Angela @marathonsandmotivation.comReply
    November 7, 2016 at 6:47 pm

    I can’t help but thinking of the Seinfeld episode where Kramer spilled hot coffee in his lap…:-) However, to answer your question, I totally think we are too litigious of a society!! I think we should be able to sue, but it has gotten out of control in the past decade.

  40. Rosey
    November 7, 2016 at 10:34 pm

    It’s the days and times… if you’re going to sue, you have to know you risk public ridicule. Nothing you can do about it, if the press catches wind of it (or anyone) and puts it online, it could easily take off running. The facts about the McDonald’s coffee case are interesting.

  41. Amrita Basu
    November 8, 2016 at 3:59 pm

    This is a nightmare
    The service industry will die I’d this goes on for long.

  42. Valerie CottageMakingMommy
    November 8, 2016 at 9:47 pm

    This is why insurance premiums are so high. People like this.

Let us know what you think. Being on-topic is NOT required.