Cracker Barrel store.
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The customer originally asked for $150,000 in damages, but the jury awarded far more. 

Cracker Barrel Ordered to Pay $6.5 Million for Serving Chemicals to Customer

The individual suffered 'permanent and serious internal physical injury,' according to the lawsuit. 

A jury in Tennessee recently awarded a man more than $6 million after a Cracker Barrel restaurant served him chemicals in his beverage nearly eight years ago. 

According to the lawsuit, in April 2014, William Cronnon was served what he thought was ice water, but instead was "some chemical that caused a burning sensation in his mouth and esophagus." It was later determined that he was given Eco-San, a chemical used to clean the kitchen. 

Court documents allege the corrosive material caused Cronnon "permanent and serious internal physical injury," and that he will continue to incur medical expenses, pain and suffering, permanent injury, lost wages and future earning capacity, and loss of enjoyment of life. 

Cronnon, who filed the lawsuit a year later, originally asked for $150,000 in damages, but the jury decided to award him $730,000 in economic damages, $3.6 million in non-economic damages, and $5 million in punitive damages for a total that exceeds $9 million. 

However, some of the award is limited by a cap under Tennessee law. So Cronnon's $4.3 million in economic and non-economic damages was limited to $1.5 million. In addition to the $5 million in punitive damages, his total payout was $6.5 million. 

Thomas Greer, Cronnon's lawyer, told the Chattanooga Times Free Press that $5 million in punitive damages is "very rare."

"What made this so egregious is that Cracker Barrel had this policy where they were putting chemicals in unmarked containers for years," Greer said to the publication. "What I argued to the jury was they were playing roulette with the health and safety with everybody who came in there, and Mr. Cronnon paid the price."

Greer told the media outlet that Econ-San was left in a water pitcher by someone from the night shift, and that it wasn't removed the next morning. The container was later used to serve Cronnon. 

Cracker Barrel said it has great respect for the legal process, but that it was also disappointed and strongly disagreed with the jury's decision. 

"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 company said in a statement.