An unfortunate Cracker Barrel customer had a bizarre incident in one of their restaurants. A mix-up with a water jug left him with permanent, severe injuries. He subsequently sued, and the popular restaurant chain was ordered to pay him millions in damages.
The incident took place in April 2014 when William Cronnon was dining at his local Cracker Barrel in Marion County, Tennessee. He took a sip of water, but instead of the thirst-quenching liquid he was expecting, Cronnon felt a burning sensation go down his throat. It turned out that he had been served a chemical used to clean the restaurant kitchen. The cleaning agent caused injuries to his mouth and throat, which he still suffers from today. These abrasions have affected his ability to work.
The chemical agent that Cronnon accidentally consumed was identified as Eco-San. The National Fire Protection Association has categorized it as a chemical that presents a high health risk. Eco-San’s manufacturer, Ecolab, has labeled the product as one that causes severe skin burns and damage to the eyes.
The following year, Cronnon filed suit against the restaurant chain. He asked for $150,000, citing negligence with an extremely dangerous chemical. The jury felt that he was owed a lot more. They ordered Cracker Barrel to pay Cronnon $730,000 in economic damages, $3.6 million in non-economic damages, and punitive damages of $5 million.
Unfortunately for Cronnon, he will only receive $750,000 from the settlement as Tennessee has a cap on how much one can get in economic damages.