Richard Washart (55), a retired police officer, who drank tainted beer at an Atlantic City casino restaurant in 2012, has been awarded $650,000 for pain and suffering, and $100,000 for emotional distress on Thursday. The beer was contaminated with a caustic agent that is normally used to clean beer tap lines.
The man was with friends at McCormick & Schmick's, a popular seafood restaurant located at the Harrah's Casino in Atlantic City. He was served beer, took a gulp of it and immediately felt burning pain. He ran to the bathroom, started vomiting blood and tried to drink water from the faucet, which was not possible because of the pain. He had to go to a hospital, where he remained for six days because his esophagus and stomach were severely burned.
The restaurant blamed Kramer Beverage Co., of Hammonton, New Jersey, a company it uses to clean its beer lines, but the company insisted that it was not at the restaurant on the day. Since all records of that day were destroyed, it could not be shown where the company's line cleaners worked that day. Therefore the court ruled that both, McCormick & Schmick's and Kramer Beverage Co., had to pay half the award each.