A Tennessee man was awarded more than $ 9 million after being served cleaning fluid instead of water at a Marion County Cracker Barrel.
William Cronnon ate at the restaurant in April 2014 for lunch when a waitress accidentally refilled her glass with a mixture of water and Eco-San, a commercial-grade bleach, according to a lawsuit and press release from Cronnon's attorney.
"Prosecutor William Cronnon ingested the beverage, which turned out to be a chemical, corrosive substance known as Eco-San," reads an amended lawsuit. "As a direct and imminent result of the incident, plaintiff William Cronnon sustained serious and sustained injuries that required medical attention."
Thomas Greer, Cronnon's attorney, said his client went to the emergency room for treatment, according to the press release. He developed gastrointestinal problems such as common cramps, bloating, diarrhea and reflux shortly after the incident.
Cronnon continues to suffer from these injuries, Greer said in a phone call Tuesday.
The case went to trial, where a jury awarded Cronnon compensatory damages totaling $ 4.3 million and a punitive damages of $ 5 million.
Cracker Barrel said in a statement: "Although we have great respect for the legal process, we are obviously disappointed and very much in disagreement with the jury's award in this case, which involved an unfortunate and isolated incident that took place in one of our stores for eight years. "
A spokesman said the restaurant was considering its options but was "pleased that this case is behind us so we can better focus on taking care of our guests and staff around the country."
According to the NBC-affiliated WRCB of Chattanooga, Cronnon will not be able to keep the entire amount awarded due to a state law that sets a ceiling on financial damages. Greer said the law is unfair and "only protects companies, insurance companies and hurts people who are seriously injured."
Despite the limitations, Greer said his client is happy with the money, but "would take all the money ... and throw it into the ocean to go back in time and not make it happen for him."