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Published: Wednesday, 7/16/2014

Maumee man sues over injuries he claims came from contaminated beer


A Maumee man who claims beer from a contaminated keg at the local American Legion post burned his mouth, throat, and internal organs has filed suit in Lucas County Common Pleas Court against the post and the contractor hired to clean its equipment.

William R. McLaughlin said in the complaint that Tom McDermott, who does business as Tom’s Coil Cleaning in Pemberville, used “harsh, toxic, and dangerous chemicals” to clean the taps, lines, and hoses connected to the beer kegs at American Legion Post No. 320 at 617 Sackett St. then failed to purge and remove the chemicals from the lines serving the Budweiser keg.

Mr. McLaughlin, who said he managed the restaurant at the post as a volunteer, drank beer from the Budweiser keg July 15, 2013, after Mr. McDermott left, “not knowing that it contained a dangerous brew of toxic and dangerous chemicals burning his mouth, throat, esophagus, stomach, and intestines.”

He had to have part of his organs surgically removed, the complaint states, and amassed medical expenses of more than $30,000.

His attorney, Daniel Grna, said his client was the only one who drank from the contaminated keg.

The lawsuit, which has been assigned to Judge Myron Duhart, alleges that both Tom’s Coil Cleaning and Post 320 were negligent — the equipment cleaner for failing to clean the chemicals out of the lines and failing to warn anyone about them, and the post for failing to warn Mr. McLaughlin that such chemicals were used to clean the taps, lines, and hoses to its kegs.

He is seeking more than $25,000 in damages.

Contact Jennifer Feehan at: jfeehan@theblade.com or 419-213-2134.

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