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What Chemicals May Be Lurking In Your Drink? [infographic]

Posted on November 15, 2017

People who go to restaurants or bars in Nevada may be seriously injured if their drinks are tainted with toxic cleaning agents that are used to clean drink lines and glassware. Contaminated drinks have caused thousands of injuries in Nevada and elsewhere across the U.S. When victims suffer serious injuries because of chemical exposures to toxic substances in the drinks that they are served, a personal injury attorney may help them to recover damages.

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Prevalence of Chemical Exposures

In the U.S. each year, between 5,000 and 15,000 people are seriously injured when they are served drinks that are contaminated with toxic chemical cleaning agents. These incidents may result in severe chemical burns to the mouths, throats, and esophaguses of victims and result in substantial losses. Alarmingly, these types of exposures occur in restaurants and drinking establishments all over the nation.

At the McCormick & Schmick’s restaurant at Harrah’s Casino in Atlantic City, a company that was hired to clean the beer lines used a caustic chemical to do so. The company and the restaurant failed to test the beer using testing strips to make certain that the chemical had been cleared from the lines. As a result, a man suffered severe burn injuries to his mouth, throat, esophagus, and stomach. He spent six days in the hospital and faces lifelong disabilities because of the incident. He was awarded $750,000 by a jury in a subsequent lawsuit. Other incidents have happened in Pennsylvania when two children were seriously injured after drinking lye-laced apple juice at a Chinese restaurant and in Utah, where a woman suffered serious injuries after drinking an iced tea that was laced with another cleaning agent.

Liability for Chemical Exposures

When restaurant patrons are injured because of chemical exposures at restaurants or bars, the business may be liable for their injuries. Businesses owe a duty of care to keep their premises reasonably safe and hazard-free, and they have a duty to prevent and correct hazards about which they know or should have known. In some situations, third parties might also hold some liability for these accidents, such as the third-party contractor that cleaned the beer lines in the Atlantic City case. A personal injury attorney may investigate claims to determine all of the potential defendants in a chemical exposure case.