Jury awards $8 million to man served chemicals instead of beer

LAS VEGAS — A Nevada jury has ordered a Henderson casino to pay $8 million to the man to whom it served chemical cleaning fluid instead of beer.

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Dr. Lon Enwright, a special education teacher, was watching a football game at Barley’s Casino & Brewing Company in Henderson, Nevada, in 2018 when a bartender offered him a sample of a beer, KVVU reported. However, instead of beer, Enwright was given a chemical cleaning solution that was leftover in the tap.

Enwright’s attorneys said that after drinking the beer, “Dr. Enwright experienced a sudden and intense burning in his mouth, on his tongue, and down his esophagus into his stomach. He soon began convulsing, hyperventilating, and violently vomiting before Henderson Fire Department arrived to the scene.” Enwright’s lawyers said he suffered permanent nerve and tissue damage, and will have a lifelong burning sensation in his tongue as well as ulcers in his esophagus.

“There’s no potential for improvement,” Rahul Ravipudi, one of Enwright’s attorneys, told The Las Vegas Review-Journal. “It will only get worse over time.”

The jury took two hours to award the $8 million judgment, which included $3 million for past damages (both physical and mental) and $5 million for future damages, KLAS reported.

The cleaning fluid Enwright ingested was a mixture of potassium hydroxide and nonylphenol polyethylene glycol ether, both of which are poisonous and used to clean beverage systems, KVVU reported.

Barley’s Casino & Brewing Company had admitted liability for the incident, but argued Enwright should only receive $300,000, The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.