Washington man sues Domino’s over wire bristles left in pizza

JoNel Aleccia, now of The Seattle Times, writes that an Auburn man is suing a local Domino’s Pizza outlet over claims he swallowed wire bristles from a cleaning brush left behind in his takeout order, which pierced his intestines and required emergency surgery.

pizza.oven.wire.brushMike Norman, 50, a Boeing product manager, said he took one bite of a Canadian bacon and pineapple pizza Sept. 19, only to feel a “sharp tearing” in his throat. He washed the pizza down with juice and bread, but said he later felt a “dull pain” in his gut.

Doctors eventually removed two 1 ½-inch fine-gauge wire bristles from his stomach, according to a complaint filed this week in Pierce County Superior Court. One of the wires had pierced Norman’s small bowel, doctors told his wife, Diane Norman, 48, a preschool teacher and day-care operator.

“It could have been lethal,” she said. Mike Norman’s abdomen now sports a 5-inch scar, photos show.

Kenra Keller, vice president of Carpe Diem Pizza Inc., which does business as Domino’s Pizza 7047, in Milton, Pierce County, declined to comment on the lawsuit.

Tim McIntyre, a spokesman for Domino’s Pizza corporate offices, said by email that he couldn’t comment on a lawsuit filed against an independently owned franchise, but he added that such businesses are required to follow local, state and federal health regulations.

The Normans, who are represented by Seattle food-safety lawyer Bill Marler, are seeking damages for injuries and loss of income. But they said they’d also like to send a wider warning to food-service employees — and consumers — about the rare but risky danger posed by using wire-bristle brushes to scour grills and ovens.