Many people will tell you that a good beer should have a little bite to it, but you will be hard-pressed to find someone who thinks it should burn. Yet, when a man drank a beer at McCormick & Schmick’s at Harrah’s Casino in Atlantic City, his throat erupted in pain. What happened next forced the man into the hospital and eventually a courtroom as he dealt with the fallout of beer burns suffered in his throat and stomach.
What Can Be Done When Beer Burns?
A former Ocean City police lieutenant was at McCormick & Schmick’s when he took a sip of beer and felt burning pain in his throat. He immediately ran to the men’s room where he began projectile vomiting. After throwing up around six times, the man tried to drink water, but the pain was too much. Then he started vomiting blood, so he rushed to the hospital.
Once doctors finally got to look at the former lieutenant, they found severe burns in his esophagus and stomach. One doctor even said he had never seen a patient survive such severe burns to these organs. The man was hospitalized for six days, but managed to survive the ordeal. Not long after, the Seaville man filed a lawsuit.
How Did This Beer Become So Dangerous?
A caustic chemical used to clean beer tap lines allegedly tainted this man’s beer. In his lawsuit, McCormick & Schmick’s and Kramer Beverage Co., the company that cleans the restaurant’s beer taps, were named as defendants. However, the restaurant blamed Kramer Beverage Co. for the contamination. The cleaning company denied the allegations, citing that its employees weren’t on the premises the day the incident happened on November 6, 2012. But the jury didn’t feel the same way.
The case alleged that McCormick & Schmick’s violated New Jersey’s Adulterated Food Act, and that that Kramer Beverage had not used an industry standard pH test. On Friday, September 15th, the Seaville man was awarded $750,000 for a combination of emotional distress, pain and suffering. Both defendants are responsible for an equal portion of the payout, though McCormick & Schmick’s is filing an appeal, further denying its responsibility.
Food service establishments and their vendors have a duty to provide safe products and services to the public. When they fail in this duty, the legal system is designed to hold them responsible, but you have to know how to use the system in order to do this. The New Jersey civil trial lawyers of Keefe Law Firm know this system, so don’t be afraid to call and learn more about your rights.