(CNN) A jury in Marion County, Tennessee, ordered Cracker Barrel to pay a man $9.4 million after it found the company at fault for serving him a glass filled with a chemical instead of water.
“The jury returned a verdict for compensatory damages of $4.3 million in just 30 minutes, and awarded punitive damages of $5 million after only 10 minutes of additional deliberation,” Plaintiff William Cronnon’s attorney Thomas Greer said.
Cracker Barrel said it was “disappointed” with the award.
Cronnon was having lunch at a Cracker Barrel in Marion County in April 2014 when he took a sip of what he believed to be water, “only to immediately realize that it was not ice water but was some chemical that caused a burning sensation in his mouth and esophagus,” according to documents.
It was later discovered Cronnon had been served Eco-San, which was being used as a cleaner in the kitchen area. [Eco-San has a pH of 12.5, the same as ammonia.]
“Eco-San is a specially formulated food contact surface sanitizer and destainer for use in low-temperature warewashing machines that rinses clear … Harmful if swallowed. Causes severe skin burns and eye damage.” – ECOLAB.COM
Eco-San caused permanent and serious internal physical injury to Cronnon, the complaint said.
Cronnon is still suffering from symptoms, including injuries to his mouth and esophagus, Greer said, which have incurred and will continue to incur medical expenses. READ MORE.