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April 13, 2005

USA: Woman won’t sue Wendy’s over alleged finger in chilli

A woman who said found a human finger in her chilli at a Wendy's restaurant has decided not to sue the fast-food chain, according to an Associated Press story carried by US newspapers.

A woman who said found a human finger in her chilli at a Wendy’s restaurant has decided not to sue the fast-food chain, according to an Associated Press story carried by US newspapers.

Anna Ayala dropped her claim because it “has caused her great emotional distress and continues to be difficult emotionally,” said her attorney Jeffrey Janoff.

Ayala claimed she found the finger on March 22 while dining at a Wendy’s restaurant in San Jose. She later filed a claim with the franchise owner, Fresno-based JEM Management Corp, which her attorney had said was the first step before filing a lawsuit.

Phone calls to Ayala’s house went unanswered Tuesday. Investigators searched her Las Vegas home last week as part of their investigation into how a finger ended up in the chili.

Wendy’s spokesman Denny Lynch declined to comment on Ayala’s decision to drop the lawsuit but said a reward hot line to receive tips will remain open. Wendy’s has offered $50,000 to the first person who can provide verifiable information that identifies the origin of the finger.

“It’s very important to us to find out what really happened at the restaurant,” Lynch said. “We will continue to fully cooperate with the police investigation.”

Wendy’s maintains the finger did not enter the food chain in its ingredients. None of the employees at the San Jose store had lost any fingers, and no suppliers of Wendy’s ingredients reported any hand or finger injuries, the company said.

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