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Restaurant Serves Industrial Cleaner As Drink

Cracker Barrel made national news when the popular restaurant chain accidentally served industrial cleaner as a drink. Although it may not have been intentional, the damage was done. You may be wondering if legal action can take place when the injury is accidental. In short, yes.

cracker barrel injury lawsuit

Here is everything you need to know about this situation:

Industrial Cleaner Served At Restaurant

A Cracker Barrel server in Tennessee thought they were pouring a glass of water for a customer. But, it turns out there was industrial cleaner in a pitcher. A customer took a sip and immediately knew something was wrong. By then it was too late. The man drank only a sip of the industrial cleaner, now he has permanent mouth and throat damage. 

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Similar Case In Lancaster

In 2017, a similar case occurred in Lancaster County. A 10-year-old boy and 4-year-old girl were mistakenly given lye in place of juice. These acts remain unintentional however, the neglect caused serious and permanent harm.

Who is Liable?

A tort is committed when someone commits an act of negligence that causes injury to another. The mission of tort law is to provide relief for injured parties and to hold responsible parties accountable. Another mission of tort law is to ensure motivation for the at-fault party and others to avoid the same negligence in the future.

Related Articles:
What Is Negligence?
Premises Liability Claims

When the workers made the mistake of serving industrial cleaner and lye to patrons, there is clear responsibility. The business itself must have proper precautions and procedures in place to store all liquids in clearly marked containers. Additionally, employees must be properly trained to avoid mistaking cleaners for beverages.

What Is Negligence?

The business has proven to have shown negligence to the patrons in this failure to foresee the possible consequences. Negligence is defined as:

  • Conduct that falls beneath the standard of behavior either generally expected in society or established by law.
  • The failure to exercise a degree of care or caution necessary to protect others from harm.

For a successful claim, the injured person must prove the following:

  • Duty of care
  • Breach of duty
  • Causation
  • Damages

All four elements must be proven to show negligence occurred and who is responsible for the injury.

What Was the Final Verdict?

In the case against Cracker Barrel, the trial was over in 3 days. A jury found Cracker Barrel liable for the damage caused to the patron. Deliberations lasted 30 minutes. Initially, he was awarded $4.3 million in compensatory damages. After another 10 minutes, the jury awarded an additional $5 million in punitive damages. The total award was $9.3 million. Unfortunately, the total was reduced to $4.4 million based on Tennessee’s tort reform rules.

industrial cleaner served as beverage

Mistakes Cause Permanent Injury

“Plaintiff William Cronnon ingested the beverage, which turned out to be a chemical, caustic substance known as Eco-San,” the lawsuit reads. It continues, “As a direct and proximate result of the incident, Plaintiff William Cronnon sustained severe and permanent injuries which required medical attention.” 

Cracker Barrel Disappointed By Verdict

Cracker Barrel revealed it is less than remorseful by sharing they are “disappointed” it needs to pay the patron it poisoned. “While we have great respect for the legal process, we are obviously disappointed by and strongly disagree with the jury’s award in this case, which involved an unfortunate and isolated incident that occurred at one of our stores eight years ago.”

It is frustrating that Cracker Barrel doesn’t acknowledge its role in the damage caused to Mr. Cronnon. This “isolated incident” doesn’t undo the harm caused to William Cronnon. A jury heard the evidence and decided Cracker Barrel was negligent and responsible.

Hire A Personal Injury Attorney

Negligence can be accidental; however, those responsible shouldn’t leave you to suffer on your own. Almost every time, the injured person needs the help of an injury attorney.

Contact Haggerty & Silverman to discuss your situation with an injury attorney for free. We provide free consultations for personal injury claims. You don’t pay us anything unless we recover money for your claim.