Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Seems a little fishy to me

It would seem very strange to me that the fellow would deliberately order the chicken oscar when he is allergic to shell fish and knows it.

Wife: Man who died didn't order crab dish No criminal charges will be filed

By S.A. REID, CHRISTIAN BOONE: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

A spokesman for Ruby Tuesday says a man who died of a shellfish allergy at its Lovejoy restaurant last week was served the dish he ordered.

Rodney "Krook" Hawkins' wife disputes the Maryville, Tenn.-based chain's account, saying -- through a family representative -- that her husband did not order the Chicken Oscar entree, which contains crab meat. Linda Hawkins accompanied her husband to the restaurant.

"She hopes that Ruby Tuesday accepts responsibility and does whatever is necessary to see that this doesn't happen again," said Chicago attorney Joseph Leonardi, speaking on behalf of the Hawkins family.

Hawkins, 35, collapsed and went into anaphylactic shock Thursday night soon after consuming the shellfish at the Ruby Tuesday on Tara Boulevard, according to an autopsy conducted by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. The welder and aspiring rapper was rushed to Southern Regional Medical Center and pronounced dead a half hour later.

Investigators have suggested a mix-up in the dinner order, but won't file any criminal charges.
"He had ordered the Chicken Fresco and the Chicken Oscar was brought out by mistake," said GBI spokesman John Bankhead.

Ruby Tuesday said its own review revealed no such error.
"Our investigation of this incident, which includes interviews with the server and manager on duty and the collection of their written notes of what occurred, clearly indicates that the guest ordered Chicken Oscar, a dish that contains crab meat," Rick Johnson, a spokesman for the company, said in a statement sent to the AJC on Tuesday.

"The server's order pad and the ticket to the kitchen also verify the accuracy of the order."
(I bet it does now at least)

The two dishes, restaurant officials point out, differ significantly in appearance. Chicken Fresco is topped with a tomato slice and chopped green herbs, while Chicken Oscar has crab meat and asparagus spears.

"She [the server] is very clear that he repeated more than one time that Chicken Oscar was his choice," said Johnson, whose company has more than 25 metro Atlanta locations. "We don't believe there was any confusion on her part. Had he been confused . . . when the dish was brought to the table it would be been clearly visible to him that it had crab meat on it."

Virginia Hawkins said in a phone interview from her Momence, Ill., home that her brother was allergic to shellfish since childhood. She said he moved from Illinois to metro Atlanta to pursue a rap music career.

Anaphylaxis occurs when a trigger activates immune cells, which then release large amounts of multiple substances, including histamine, into the bloodstream, according to, an online community for physicians. An estimated 500 to 1,000 people die annually from severe cases.