mccord@poststar.com

BALLSTON SPA - An Oneida County man is suing the McDonald's restaurant chain, claiming the chicken sandwich he bought at the restaurant in Wilton two years ago contained a hypodermic needle.

Daniel Cozza of Yorkville, a village just outside Utica, filed a lawsuit Thursday in state Supreme Court in Saratoga County, claiming the incident occurred at the Wilton McDonald's on Route 50, just off Northway Exit 15.

Cozza claims in the lawsuit that he ordered a grilled chicken sandwich when he was at the restaurant on May 30, 2002. Cozza claims when he bit into the sandwich, part of a hypodermic needle "punctured his tongue."

The lawsuit contends Cozza suffered severe injuries as a result, including "severe nervous shock and mental anguish."

Cozza is suing for an undisclosed amount, seeking money for his alleged injuries, medical bills and loss of employment earnings. In the suit, Cozza's New York City attorney Seth Harris states McDonald's "had a duty to sell a product safe for consumption and free of hypodermic needles."

The lawsuit was originally filed on Jan. 7 in New York City, but was refiled in Ballston Spa on Thursday after a judge approved a request by McDonald's to change the court venue. According to court papers, McDonald's argued it would be too inconvenient for the witnesses they want to call to travel from Saratoga County to New York City.

Neither Cozza's attorneys nor McDonald's representatives could be reached for comment Monday.

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