A Tennessee man is celebrating a major win against a popular southern food chain after a jury ordered the company to pay him more than $4.3 million.
The case stems from an incident in April 2014 at a Cracker Barrel in Marion County where diner William Cronnon was given a glass filled with a chemical cleaning agent called Eco-San rather than the water he had ordered, per FOX 17.
When Cronnon took a sip, he immediately knew something was wrong. The lawsuit states the chemicals burned his mouth and esophagus, injuries he claims still affect him to this day. The jury found that Cracker Barrel acted negligently and "[failed] to hire and properly train qualified and competent employees," the news outlet reports.
The original lawsuit requested that the company pay Cronnon $150,000 in damages, but the jury ultimately awarded him $730,000 in economic damages as well as $3.6 million in non-economic damages, totaling $4,330,000 million.
Following the jury's verdict, Cracker Barrel released a statement to FOX 17 stating the company's disappointment with the decision.
"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," the company said in a statement. "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."
The name of the employee who served Cronnon the chemicals was not specified in the lawsuit.