Woman who drank toxic tea reaches settlement with Dickey's

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SOUTH JORDAN — A woman who drank "toxic tea" served at Dickey's Barbecue Pit has reached a settlement with the restaurant.

"Mrs. Harding was pleased to see that the company was able to demonstrate extensive changes which have been put in place to ensure that a similar accident doesn't happen again," a joint statement released by Dickey's and the family of Jan Harding says.

The statement went on to say that both parties have been "amicable" throughout the process and they are pleased an agreement could be reached without resorting to litigation. Both sides, however, agreed to keep confidential the remaining points of the agreement.

On Aug. 9, Harding, 67, went to Dickey's, 683 W. South Jordan Parkway, and poured a glass of sweet iced tea from a drink dispenser. Immediately as she drank it, she felt a burning sensation in her mouth.

It was later discovered that someone at the restaurant put six cups of a white powder substance into the iced tea mixer and stirred it up, apparently believing it was sugar. The substance was actually a highly toxic industrial cleaning chemical used for cleaning fryers. The main chemical in the substance is sodium hydroxide.


Harding was hospitalized for two weeks.

In September, the Salt Lake County District Attorney's Office announced it found no evidence of criminal wrongdoing and no charges were filed against the restaurant.

Harding's attorney, Paxton Guymon, had said the family was not necessarily looking for charges to be filed. And as far as a civil suit, he said in September that one would be filed "only if we are unable to settle with Dickey's at a mediation."


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Pat Reavy


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