Jury awards $8M to man served chemical cleaning solution instead of beer at Henderson casino
LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - A jury on Friday awarded $8 million to a man who suffered internal injuries after being served a chemical cleaning agent that was leftover in a tap lines instead of a beer at a Henderson casino, attorneys said.
According to the man’s attorneys, Dr. Lon Enwright, a 38-year-old special education teacher, was visiting Barley’s Casino & Brewing in Henderson to watch a football game when a bartender offered him a sample of a Honey Blonde ale. However, instead of a beer, attorneys say Dr. Enwright was given a chemical cleaning solution instead.
Attorneys for the man, Rahul Ravipudi, Ian Samson, and Adam Ellis of Panish | Shea | Boyle | Ravipudi LLP, argued that staff knew the tap lines were out of service for cleaning. However, he was offered a sample anyway.
According to his attorneys, Enwright immediately began experiencing intense burning in his mouth, tongue, esophagus and stomach. He then began convulsing, hyperventilating, and vomiting before Henderson Fire Department arrived on scene.
Lawyers say doctors later told Dr. Enwright he sustained permanent damage to nerves and tissue in his mouth, tongue, and gastrointestinal system. The liquid that was poured into Dr. Enwrights sample was a mixture of potassium hydroxide and nonylphenol polyethylene glycol ether. These ingredients are poisonous and are used to clean beverage systems such as beer taps, tanks, and lines.
Lawyers say potassium hydroxide is a powerful alkaline which is used to liquefy organic material and polyethylene glycol ether acts as a surfactant to adhere the chemical to organic material. This same process, according to his attorneys, occurred within Dr. Enwright’s body adhering to and liquefying the internal tissues of his gastrointestinal system.
According to a news release from the law firm, Barley’s Casino & Brewery denied liability for Dr. Enwright’s injuries until March 10, four days before the trial began. The only issue for the jury to determine at trial was the amount of past and future noneconomic damages suffered by Dr. Enwright.
The release states that the jury took two hours of deliberation to render their verdict in favor of Dr. Enwright, awarding $3 million in past non-economic damages and $5 million in future non-economic damages.
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