Customer Claims a Dallas Red Lobster Served Him Beer Laced with Caustic Poison

Justin Grogg was in town from Panama City on a business trip when he and a colleague went out on the town to sample the local fare. They went to the Red Lobster at Stemmons and Northwest Highway, and Grogg ordered a Budweiser.

Grogg says it took only a second for him to realize that the burning sensation in his throat, esophagus and stomach was something more than the tingle of carbonation. He was rushed to the hospital, where he was treated for inflammation and ulceration of his esophagus and pharynx. The pain eventually subsided, but doctors told him his future would likely be plagued by infections, acid reflux and difficulty swallowing.

The burning was not, as the beer snobs among us will soon suggest, caused by the general odiousness of mass-produced American lager. It was caused instead by the mouthful of potassium hydroxide Grogg got when he sipped his beer.

In a lawsuit filed last week in Dallas County, he says the restaurant had used the lye-like cleaning agent to disinfect the Budweiser keg that morning but had failed to properly rinse the container before refilling it with the beer Grogg would later drink.

So Grogg is suing both Ben E. Keith, the supplier that cleaned the kegs, and Red Lobster, which served him the corrosive beer. He's seeking compensation for mental and physical suffering, emotional distress and medical expenses.

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Eric Nicholson
Contact: Eric Nicholson