Guest at Marriott Long Wharf sues over toothpick she says she swallowed along with a bite of a room-service burger

An Ohio woman is suing the Marriott Long Wharf for what she says was permanent colon damage caused by a toothpick in a hamburger she ordered through room service during a 2010 stay.

In her lawsuit, originally filed in Suffolk Superior Court but transferred this week to US District Court, Rebecca Robinson-Brown of Columbus, OH, says she ordered a burger and kettle fries on Dec. 5, 2010 and that she "unknowingly swallowed a toothpick" inside the burger.

Robinson-Brown says the next day, she had to have emergency surgery at Mass. General to remove the toothpick and try to repair the hole it put in her small bowel. This was followed by five days of treatment at the hospital for the infection she says the toothpick hole caused.

In her suit, she says she was discharged on Dec. 12, flew back home and then had to be admitted to a hospital there, twice in two weeks, for treatment of the continuing pain and other complications from the surgery and infection.

Robinson-Brown says she continues to have "enormous pain and suffering" and "severe and permanent injuries" due to the toothpick and that she and her husband deserve recompense from the hotel, because it shouldn't be serving guests food with hidden toothpicks in it.

The hotel has yet to file a reply.



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PDF icon Robinson-Brown's complaint.523.77 KB


Big Mouth

By on

When they include a toothpick to hold together a burger or sandwich is it not generally pretty obvious?
They pretty much always use those ones, the same used for hors d'oeuvres, with the sparkly and colored plastic ribbon on one end. And then even if you bit into one because you did not notice it visually, how do you not notice it in your mouth and swallow it? They're not some tiny thing that would go unnoticed unless you don't chew your food and have a giant mouth.

Voting is closed. 9

If You Read The Complaint...

By on says that in this case the hotel did not use that style of toothpick; indeed, they are specifically being blamed for not using a noticeable toothpick and/or placing it in a manner that would be obvious.

With the emergency surgery at Mass General to remove the toothpick and subsequent hospitalizations resulting from the injury, this really doesn't seem like something that anyone would fake or intentionally do as a scheme to collect damages. Who expects toothpicks in a burger anyway? It sounds like this could have happened to anyone; I'm sure glad it wasn't me!

Voting is closed. 14

I read the complaint

And the only possible descriptor of the toothpick I can find is a vague reference that the Marriott should have kept "wooden" stuff out of their food, which is somewhat silly given that wooden toothpicks are made to go in food and are in common use in burgers and sandwiches to hold them together.

I'm willing to give the plaintiff the benefit of the doubt that there wasn't a big plastic flag on the toothpick but even so, how do you chew and swallow a toothpick without realizing it?

Voting is closed. 11

That's the thing

By on

I ate a thick sandwich with a toothpick in it a few years ago. I had no idea until I tried to put the toothpick with part of the sandwich along with it all in my mouth and bit down. I knew something was wrong when I felt something pointy hitting the roof of my mouth and my tongue.

I'm not quite sure how it got as far as her intestine without her knowing. Even if it was a short toothpick, we do chew our food, don't we?

Voting is closed. 13

Wow That was Very Unfortunate

By on

The problem was that when you have one giant stick UP your ass it's hard to fit another smaller stick coming in from the other direction.

What? You thought I was going to be sympathetic?


Voting is closed. 23