A woman is suing a Manhattan restaurant after claiming she found a hook in the fish she was served. But the restaurant says that's a fishy story, and now it's countersuing.
Aliona Russo and her husband were dining with NBC executives at the Villagio on Central Park South back in August when she bit into her branzino and allegedly cut her mouth with the 2-inch fishing hook she says was inside, the New York Daily News reported.
"Removing the remnants of the piece of fish from her mouth, she was shocked to observe the hook," Russo's attorney Jay Dankner said. Russo's lawsuit alleges the restaurant was "negligent, careless and reckless in its inspection, cooking, preparation and service of the fish."
The restaurant staff reportedly apologized for the incident. The owner of the Manhattan restaurant, Alexander Kalas, told TheBlaze Thursday that the wait staff refunded the cost of not only Aliona's meal, but the cost of every meal her party ordered. As Kalas recalled, there were "five, if not six, people" in her party.
Despite the restaurant's agreement to refund the money, Vincent Russo allegedly told the staff it would take more to settle. He wanted $50,000, the New York Daily News reported.
That’s extortion," Kalas said. "We’re filing a countersuit. We don’t think the fishhook was there."
While speaking with TheBlaze Thursday, Kalas added, "I think she placed it there." Kalas also said the fish were harvested from a farm and thus were caught with fishing nets, not hooks.
"It is impossible to find a hook in a fish that's harvested through nets," he said.
Russo, unsatisfied with Kalas' response, is suing. She's now claiming she was “injured, both physically and psychologically." But Kalas maintains his restaurant did nothing wrong.
The Russos are seeking unspecified damages. The lawsuit "demand[s] judgment against the [restaurant] on all causes of action in an amount commensurate with the injuries and damages sustained herein, together with interest, disbursements, and costs of this action," according to WABC.
Kalas told TheBlaze he had seen the couple at the restaurant "a couple of other times," but when asked if the Russos had ever raised any other issues, he said no.
According to the New York Daily News, Vincent Russo served a prison sentence for robbery in the 1970s. It is not clear, however, whether Aliona Russo has any past criminal history.
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