UPDATE: Ruby Tuesday Says Man Ordered Fatal Crab Dish

Yesterday, we reported that Rodney Hawkins, who was allergic to shellfish, died after eating an entree containing crab meat which was mistakenly brought to him at a Ruby Tuesday restaurant in Lovejoy, GA.. According to AJC, Ruby Tuesday denies any wrongdoing and says that the man actually ordered the chicken and crab meat dish called the “Chicken Oscar” which triggered the fatal allergic reaction. Rodney’s widow, Linda Hawkins, disagrees. Details, inside…

The article says,

[Linda Hawkins] hopes that Ruby Tuesday accepts responsibility and does whatever is necessary to see that this doesn’t happen again,” said Chicago attorney Joseph Leonardi, speaking on behalf of the Hawkins family.

Hawkins, 35, collapsed and went into anaphylactic shock Thursday night soon after consuming the shellfish at the Ruby Tuesday on Tara Boulevard, according to an autopsy conducted by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. The welder and aspiring rapper was rushed to Southern Regional Medical Center and pronounced dead a half hour later.

Investigators have suggested a mix-up in the dinner order, but won’t file any criminal charges.

“He had ordered the Chicken Fresco and the Chicken Oscar was brought out by mistake,” said GBI (Georgia Bureau of Investigation) spokesman John Bankhead.

Ruby Tuesday said its own review revealed no such error.

“Our investigation of this incident, which includes interviews with the server and manager on duty and the collection of their written notes of what occurred, clearly indicates that the guest ordered Chicken Oscar, a dish that contains crab meat,” Rick Johnson, a spokesman for the company, said in a statement sent to the AJC on Tuesday.

“The server’s order pad and the ticket to the kitchen also verify the accuracy of the order.”

The two dishes, restaurant officials point out, differ significantly in appearance. Chicken Fresco is topped with a tomato slice and chopped green herbs, while Chicken Oscar has crab meat and asparagus spears.

“She [the server] is very clear that he repeated more than one time that Chicken Oscar was his choice,” said Johnson, whose company has more than 25 metro Atlanta locations. “We don’t believe there was any confusion on her part. Had he been confused . . . when the dish was brought to the table it would be been clearly visible to him that it had crab meat on it.”

Virginia Hawkins said in a phone interview from her Momence, Ill., home that her brother was allergic to shellfish since childhood. She said he moved from Illinois to metro Atlanta to pursue a rap music career.

Are we to believe that this man with an acute shellfish allergy since childhood failed to read the description of the entree or simply ordered the wrong entree by mistake? And that this also slipped by his wife who was with him? Why would Rodney have repeated his order “more than once?” That implies that the order was spoken at least 3 times which seems a bit unusual. Of course, maybe the RT representative meant to say the order was said more than once, not repeated. We’re not saying that Ruby Tuesday’s version is impossible, just improbable. But we don’t like to speculate, we leave that to the commenters.

PREVIOUSLY: Wrong Order Kills Customer At Ruby Tuesday

Wife: Man who died didn’t order crab dish [AJC] (Thanks to Sunny!)