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Columbia Personal Injury Lawyer > Blog > Premises Liability > Court Orders Cracker Barrel To Pay Damages To Injured Customer After Wait Staff Served Him Cleaning Chemicals In A Water Glass

Court Orders Cracker Barrel To Pay Damages To Injured Customer After Wait Staff Served Him Cleaning Chemicals In A Water Glass


Customers who get injured at restaurants and other places of business have the right to seek damages in premises liability lawsuits if they have evidence that the accident was preventable and that stricter policies at the place of business or better enforcement of its existing policies would have prevented the accident.  Some premises liability cases involve customers who got injured by slipping on a wet floor or getting hit by a falling object, and the negligence of the business lies in not maintaining or inspecting its premises well enough to prevent accidents like these.  While restaurants are sometimes defendants in premises liability cases involving traumatic injuries like these, they can also be liable under premises liability laws if a customer became ill after consuming food at the restaurant that was improperly stored or prepared or was otherwise unfit for human consumption.  If you suffered a permanent or serious illness or injury because of a mistake by restaurant staff, contact a Columbia Premises liability lawyer.

Cracker Barrel Staff Kept Cleaning Chemicals in Water Pitchers

In April 2014, William Cronnon dined at a Cracker Barrel restaurant in Marion County, Tennessee.  A server brought him a glass of what he thought was ice water, but when he took a sip, he immediately felt a burning sensation in his mouth and esophagus.  The liquid turned out to be Eco-San, a corrosive chemical that the Cracker Barrel staff was using to clean surfaces in the kitchen.  Cracker Barrel apparently allowed its employees to store Eco-San in containers identical to the pitchers from which its servers would pour drinking water for customers.

In 2022, Cronnon still suffers from symptoms of his injuries resulting from that visit to Cracker Barrel and continues to incur medical expenses because of them.  He filed a premises liability lawsuit against Cracker Barrel, alleging that its unsafe practices made it possible for a server to fill Cronnon’s cup with a cleaning chemical instead of with drinkable water.  While most premises liability cases settle before a judge must rule on them, Cronnon’s case went to trial.  In January 2022, a jury delivered a verdict very quickly; it took them only 30 minutes to reach a decision about the compensatory damages and only ten minutes to decide about the punitive damages.  The court awarded Cronnon a total of $9.4 million, of which $4.3 million were compensatory damages.  The CNN website did not specify what percentage of the compensatory damages award was economic damages for medical expenses and how much was noneconomic damages for pain and suffering.

Let Us Help You Today

The premises liability lawyers at the Stanley Law Group can help you seek damages if you were injured because of unsafe food preparation practices at a restaurant, such as if your food or drink was contaminated with inedible substances.  Contact The Stanley Law Group in Columbia, South Carolina or call (803)799-4700 for a free initial consultation.



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