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Brewery and Taproom Risk Management

Proactive risk management can reduce the chances of a loss, limit the amount of damage you suffer as a result, and, in some circumstances, shift the financial burden to the responsible party.

Jonathan Dunitza May 24, 2018 - 13 min read

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How many jokes start with “A guy walks into a bar?” A modest guess would be thousands, but in some instances, there is no punch line. In a recent New Jersey case, one sip of beer resulted in the customer being hospitalized for six days. Five years later a jury awarded him $750,000 for the negligence of the establishment that served the beer and one of its vendors.

Now you may be asking, how can a sip of beer lead to a $750,000 verdict? In this case, a seemingly minor misstep caused serious and lasting personal injury to the patron: On November 6, 2012, a retired police officer ordered a beer at a New Jersey restaurant while he was out celebrating a business deal. After just one sip, he immediately felt a burning pain. He ran to the bathroom where he experienced multiple rounds of vomiting, including instances in which he vomited blood.

He was hospitalized for six days with injuries to his digestive tract and lost 25 percent of his stomach lining; he faces a lifetime of medical treatment. The culprit turned out to be a caustic substance in his beer that was purportedly used to clean the tap lines but wasn’t fully flushed during the process.

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