KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 19 — A man in Tennessee, United States, has been awarded US$9.3 million (RM39 million) by the court after he was served cleaning liquid instead of water at a restaurant.

William Cronnon was having his lunch at the Marion County Cracker Barrel in April 2014 when a waitress accidentally refilled his glass with a mixture of water and Eco-San, a commercial-grade bleach, according to a lawsuit and press release by Cronnon’s attorney.

“Plaintiff William Cronnon ingested the beverage, which turned out to be a chemical, caustic substance known as Eco-San,” NBC news reported quoting a lawsuit. 

“As a direct and proximate result of the incident, Plaintiff William Cronnon sustained severe and permanent injuries which required medical attention.”

Cronnon’s lawyer Thomas Greer said his client went to the emergency room for treatment, after he developed gastrointestinal issues like regular cramping, bloating, diarrhea and reflux plain shortly after the incident.

He still suffers from those injuries, Greer told the station.

A jury awarded Cronnon compensatory damages totaling US$4.3 million (RM18.02 million) and punitive damages of US$5 million (RM21 million).

Responding to the award, Cracker Barrel said they were disappointed with the decision and strongly disagreed with the jury’s award.

A spokesman said the restaurant was considering its options but was “glad this matter is behind us so we can better focus on caring for our guests and employees around the country.”

Cronnon, however, will not get to keep the full amount awarded due to a state law that puts a cap on economic damages. 

Despite the restrictions, Greer said his client was happy about the money but “would take all the money … and throw it in the ocean to go back in time and not have this happen to him.”