ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — A retired New Jersey police officer has filed a lawsuit against an Atlantic City restaurant, alleging a draft beer he ordered three years ago contained a corrosive cleaner that severely injured him.
Richard Washart, 53, said he was celebrating a business venture at McCormick and Schmick’s in Harrah’s Atlantic City on Nov. 6, 2012, when he took a swig of the second beer he had ordered and immediately felt a searing burning sensation in his mouth.
“The pain was unimaginable,” he told Philly.com. “It forced me to run to the bathroom and I immediately began to projectile vomit blood.”
The lawsuit said he was hospitalized in Atlantic City for a week and the liquid had burned away nearly 25 percent of his stomach lining. Washart said a doctor said he had ingested a lye-like substance used to decontaminate beer.
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“I never saw a patient survive these types of burns in 30 years of practice,” one of the physicians said, according to the suit.
McCormick & Schmick said in a statement Wednesday that the allegation is “baseless” and the lawsuit “frivolous.” The restaurant said there’s no evidence proving the restaurant did anything wrong.
“Moreover, no other person who drank tap beer on that day experienced any issues,” the restaurant said.
Washart’s lawyer, Paul D’Amato, also said the beer tap system at the restaurant was improperly maintained.
D’Amato claims that managers at the restaurant said beer distributor Kramer Beverage, who is named in the lawsuit, cleaned the beer lines. Its CEO, Mark Kramer, said they weren’t there the day Washart was injured.
The case is expected to go to trial next year.