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CRACKER BARREL TO PAY MILLIONS AFTER SERVING MAN CLEANER INSTEAD OF WATER

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A jury in Marion County, Tennessee, has ordered the Cracker Barrel restaurant chain to pay a man millions of dollars after it ruled the company was at fault when he was served something besides the glass of water he had ordered.

The jury ruled last week in a case that started back in April of 2014.

On April 25, 2014, William Cronnon was eating lunch at a Cracker Barrel in Marion County, Tenn., according to a complaint filed in 2015. He was served what he thought was ice water, but after taking a drink, he felt “a burning sensation in his mouth and esophagus” and realized it was some sort of chemical.

It was later determined that the server had given Cronnon a sanitizer called Eco-San that was being used to clean the kitchen at the time. The corrosive chemical caused “permanent and serious physical injury” to Cronnon that he continued to suffer from, the complaint said.

He sued the Lebanon, Tenn.-based company for $150,000 in damages, but the jury elected to award him far more than that. It ordered Cracker Barrel to pay $4.3 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in damages meant to punish the company and deter future incidents.

The compensatory damages were limited to $1.5 million by state law, bringing the total to $6.5 million, a Cracker Barrel spokesperson said.

In leveling the $5 million, the jury cited the “objectionable nature” of the incident, Cracker Barrel’s “awareness of the amount of harm being caused” and its unwillingness to fix the problem or offer a “prompt and fair settlement,” according to court documents.

 


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