September 14, 2017 – Atlantic City, NJ

A New Jersey resident is suing McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurants Inc. a nationwide restaurant chain with a location in Atlantic City, NJ. The basis of the lawsuit is caustic beer. Richard Washart, a Seaville, NJ resident claims that as a patron of the McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood and Steaks located inside Harrrah’s Hotel and Casino at 777 Harrah’s Blvd, Atlantic City, NJ, he ordered a tap beer. After taking a gulp of the beer he immediately got a burning sensation down his throat and into his stomach.

On the day in question, November 6,2012 Mr. Washart was dining with colleagues and having a beer which landed him in the hospital for six days. Harrah’s Hotel and casino is not a party to the suit as McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurants is an independent tenant inside the casino hotel. Parties to the suit are McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurants and Kramer Beverage Co., of Hammonton, New Jersey, a contractor that cleans beer lines.

The basis of the suit is that the beer that Richard Washart drank was contaminated with the caustic cleaner used by Kramer Beverage Company. Inc. Throughout the suit the two companies have been trying to shift the blame to each other. Kramer Beverage, Inc is claiming that they did not service the beer lines on November 6, 2012, while a manager for the restaurant is claiming that he saw a Kramer employee on premises that day.

The lawyer for McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood and Steaks, George Godfrey, is maintaining that the restaurant did nothing wrong. Maintaining that the only way for a caustic chemical to get into the beer was it was not properly flushed by the employee of Kramer Beverage. Meanwhile Paul D’Amato, lawyer for the Plaintiff, also lays most of the blame on Kramer, saying that a .15 cent ph strip used after a beer line is cleaned would have revealed the presence of the caustic chemical.

This case is now in the hands of the jury. It is however another reminder of the dangers faced even when ordering a beer on tap. Who would have thought about the dangerous and deadly chemicals that are used to clean beer lines? Even if thoroughly cleaned, is there really no trace of these chemicals in your beer. Something more to ponder, is my beer safe?

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UPDATE September 15, 2007 – 1:09 PM

Richard Washart, New Jersey man whose esophagus and stomach were severely burned after drinking a beer tainted by a caustic chemical at McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood and Steaks in Atlantic City was awarded $750,000 by a jury. The restaurant blamed the incident on Kramer Beverage, Co, and independent vendor that cleans its beer line. Kramer Beverage denied that their employees were at the restaurant on the day in question.

The judgement provides that each company pay half, essentially splitting the liability for Mr. Washart’s injuries.

NJ Man awarded $750K Judgement by jury for caustic beer Click to Tweet