A guy walks into a bar. That’s the start of countless jokes, but this time there is no punchline. Instead, the beer he ordered resulted in a jury verdict of $750,000 against the place that served the beer and its vendor.
Now you may be asking what can happen in a brewery that leads to a $750,000 jury verdict? There are likely many things. In this case, the person ordered a beer while he was out celebrating a business deal. When he drank the beer, he immediately felt a burning pain. He ran to the bathroom where he experienced the first of multiple rounds of vomiting. He couldn’t drink water from the faucet because of the pain in his mouth and throat. When he began vomiting blood, he went to the hospital where he remained for six days. He suffered damages to his digestive tract, including loss of 25 percent of his stomach lining. His medical treatments could last for the rest of his life. The culprit turned out to be a caustic substance in his beer that was purportedly from cleaning the tap lines.
This is not the only report of an injury caused by a caustic cleaning substance in beer. In Massachusetts, a woman suffered throat burns after a distributor failed to flush out the caustic solution used to clean tap lines. An Ohio man alleged that he suffered burns to his mouth, throat, esophagus, stomach, and intestines, and was required to have parts of several internal organs surgically removed after drinking contaminated beer. According to his complaint, he suffered $30,000 in medical expenses alone. Once again, the alleged culprit was a caustic substance left behind on taps, lines and hoses by the company that cleaned the lines.
In Texas, a man ordered a beer while out for dinner with his wife. He took a drink from the glass and immediately felt a burning sensation in his mouth, throat, and down to his stomach. He was hospitalized for three days. The cause? Tap lines that had not been flushed prior to delivery to the restaurant, resulting in the customer receiving a glass of a lye-based cleaning solution instead of a beer. His mouth and upper gastrointestinal tract suffered burns and ulcerations. His gastroenterologist testified that as a result of the injuries, there was a remote chance that the victim could develop esophageal cancer.
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