Metal wire in woman's hot dog pierces tonsil 'like a fishing hook'

LAKE STEVENS, Wash. -- When Rebecca Flick bit into her hot dog, she tasted something strange.

"I felt this sharp stabbing in the back of my throat," she said. "Toward the last bite of my hot dog, I instantly felt the cut in my throat ... had instant bleeding."

What cut her throat was a piece of metal wire that had been stuck in her meat.

"It could have ripped up my esophagus," she said, adding she rushed from the backyard barbecue to the emergency room. X-rays show a piece of metal lodged in her Flick's left tonsil.

"Hooked in almost like a fishing hook," she said.

The hospital sent her home, but Flick, a medical assistant, didn't feel she should let the metal be. So she visited a second hospital, this time heading to the emergency room at Overlake Hospital where a surgeon removed the metal.

Flick held on to the piece of metal the surgeon removed.

"So this is the wire they pulled out of her. It's almost 2 centimeters long," said Greg Colburn, an attorney representing Flick.

A few days after the hot dog scare, Flick underwent a tonsilectomy.

"It's about $30,000 in medical expenses after all this happened," she said.

Flick has hired an attorney who is now trying to determine whether the metal wire broke off the grill brush or was already in the hot dog by the time it reached the grocery store. The hosts of the barbecue Flick had attended had cleaned off the grill with a metal-bristled grill brush before cooking up hot dogs, including the one Flick ate.

"It would be a product liability case against either the manufacturer of the hot dog or manufacturer of the brush, because they've placed an unreasonably dangerous product out onto the market place," said Colburn.

Colburn is now looking for others who've faced similar dangers, including Tacoma resient Adam Wojtanowictz, who swallowed a Brill brush bristle during a barbecue last summer.

"It still blows my mind, how I could swallow this without noticing it," he said.

Flick is now overly cautious about examining her food before consumptions. And hot dog are not on the menu.

"It's very scary," she said.

Colburn said he has already found two others who found a piece of wire in their grilled foods.