A Manhattan woman filed a lawsuit after she smelled a rat at work.
Cailey Fiesel of Midtown bought two dresses from a Zara store in Greenwich, Connecticut, in July and hung them in her closet. She first wore the black dress to her job in August.
“While at work, she started to notice a disturbingly pungent odor and was unable to identify the source,” the Manhattan Supreme Court lawsuit charges, according to the New York Daily News. “Despite getting up from her desk and walking around, she was unable to escape this odor.”
“As the day went on, Ms. Fiesel started to notice what felt like a loose string from her dress rubbing against her leg,” and “without giving it much thought she reached down with her hand to try and locate the piece of string that was rubbing against her.”
“To her utter shock and disbelief, as she ran her hand over the hem of the dress she felt an unusual bulge and suddenly realized that it was not a string that was rubbing against her leg but was instead a leg rubbing against her leg. The leg of a dead rodent that is," court papers claim.
“Ms. Fiesel jumped out of her chair in shock, people surrounded her desk to see what the commotion was while Ms. Fiesel was paralyzed with fear, she then ran to remove the dress," according to the suit. "After removing the dress, she found that a dead rodent was sewn into the hem of the dress."
Fiesel alleges she had a rash diagnosed as “rodent-born disease,” the New York Post reported, and is also suing for emotional distress.
The garment was sewn in Turkey, according to the label shown in one of the photos included with the lawsuit, but it is unclear when the rodent hitched a ride in the dress.
"The length of time for the rodent to decompose depends on many factors, including size of the rodent, temperature, humidity and accessibility to decomposers like flies," the pest control company Orkin says on its website. "Unfortunately it may take three weeks or more to completely decompose."
That applies to a rat that is trapped in a wall. Orkin also noted that the smell can linger up to two weeks after the rodent body has decomposed.
A representative for the Spanish clothier told TMZ: "Zara USA is aware of the suit, and we are investigating the matter further. Zara USA has stringent health and safety standards, and we are committed to ensuring that all of our products meet these rigorous requirements."