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Woman Who Drank Poisoned Tea Reaches Settlement With Restaurant

Dickey's Barbecue Pit will implement "extensive changes."

Dickey's Barbecue Pit/Facebook

The 67-year-old Utah woman who was in critical condition after unknowingly drinking sweet tea laced with a lye-based cleaner at a Dickey's Barbecue Pit in August has reached a deal with the restaurant. According to the Associated Press, Jan Harding and DIckey's Barbecue issued a joint statement this week "announcing that they came to terms on an agreement that will lead to extensive changes at the business" so that a similar incident never occurs again. Details regarding how much money Harding received have not been disclosed.

In August, an employee accidentally confused a chemical cleaner with the sweetener used to make the ice tea and ended up mixing in six full cups of the powdered lye. Harding suffered severe burns in her throat, which put her in the hospital, but has now made a "good recovery."

Prosecutors decided to not file charges against the restaurant because while there were many employee errors, there was "no evidence of criminal wrongdoing." Harding and her family have worked with the restaurant to help them implement procedures to avoid a repeat of the incident. Dickey's tells the AP that the event was "isolated and unprecedented" in the chain's 73 year history. Currently, the chain has over 400 locations.

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