At the onslaught of the coronavirus pandemic, sanitizer and cleaners quickly became coveted resources as suppliers and sellers tried to keep up with demand across the board.
Though not much was known about coronavirus when it first hit, people were trying all different methods and taking all kinds of precautions to avoid getting sick. Some even considered whether ingesting sanitizers was a good idea (which it is not). And if they knew about what happened to TK age William Cronnon back in April of 2014, they would know just how horrible it can be.
When Cronnon asked for a glass of water in a Marion County, Tennessee location of Cracker Barrel, he was accidentally given a glass of kitchen sanitizer instead. According to reports, the glass contained Eco-San, a household cleaner that the restaurant had been using to clean its kitchen, and kept stored in an unmarked pitcher.
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Cronnon suffered burns to his mouth and esophagus and is still suffering the repercussions of the ingestion to this day, even though the incident took place nearly 8 years ago.
WTVC reporter Samuel Peña explained that Eco-San is classified as a category 3 health risk (per its safety data sheet), meaning that the chemical is considered to be “an extreme danger.”
Cronnon’s ongoing lawsuit against Cracker Barrel came to a head on Wednesday when the jury ruled that the restaurant chain was to pay him a whopping $9.4 million in damages, including another $730,000 in economic damages.
“While we have great respect for the legal process, we are obviously disappointed by and strongly disagree with the jury’s award in this case, which involved an unfortunate and isolated incident that occurred at one of our stores eight years ago,” Cracker Barrel said in a statement to WTVC. “Although we are considering our options with respect to this verdict, we are glad this matter is behind us so we can better focus on caring for our guests and employees around the country.”
Thomas Greer, a lawyer on behalf of Cronnon, said that he doesn’t anticipate his client receiving the multi-million dollar payout as the restaurant chain will most likely continue to appeal the verdict.
“The jury returned a verdict for compensatory damages of $4.3 million in just 30 minutes — one of the fastest verdicts we have ever seen — and awarded punitive damages of $5 million after only 10 minutes of additional deliberation,” Greer told CNN. “The speed of the verdict, combined with an amount in excess of what we asked, speaks to just how dangerous the Cracker Barrel policy was.”
Cronnon has not yet publicly commented on the verdict nor the trial.