Cracker Barrel To Pay $9 Million To Customer Served Cleaning Chemical

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Cracker Barrel faces accusations of racism
Cracker Barrel faces accusations of racism

A court in Tennessee has ordered Cracker Barrel to pay a customer more than $9 million after the man was served a glass of cleaning chemical liquid instead of water.

The customer, William Cronnon suffered serious injuries including internal burns, after a waitress at the Cracker Barrel in Marion County accidentally filled his glass with a mixture of water and Eco-San while he was having lunch at the location in April 2014, NBC News reported citing court records.

Following the verdict from a Marion County jury, the restaurant chain has been ordered to pay $4.3 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages to the injured customer.

Cronnon, however, will only be receiving about $750,000 due to a cap placed on economic damages under state law. "This is an unfair law. He will not receive anything close to what he is entitled to," Cronnon's attorney Thomas Greer said, as reported by New York Post.

The restaurant had kept Eco-san mixed with water in regularly used unmarked pitchers to clean kitchen surfaces, according to court records. After the waitress refilled Cronnon's glass with this mixture, he took a sip from it, mistaking it for water. Cronnon suffered burns to his mouth and esophagus and had to be rushed to the emergency room for treatment.

After the incident, Cronnon developed gastrointestinal issues including cramping and reflux, and still suffers from serious internal burns, Cronnon's lawyer said. "He would take all the money … and throw it in the ocean to go back in time and not have this happen to him," Greer said describing his client's ordeal.

Cronnon, who is still incurring expenses for treatment due to his injuries, had sought $150,000 in damages in his initial lawsuit.

Meanwhile, Cracker Barrel said they were "disappointed" and are considering their options with the verdict.

"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," Cracker Barrel said in a statement after the verdict.




Photo: Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc.

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