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A settlement has been reached between Dickey's Barbecue and the woman who drank poisoned tea at a South Jordan restaurant in August.
Jan Harding, Dickey's Barbecue and its franchisee "amicably resolved all claims between them" without the filing of a lawsuit, according to a joint press release distributed by the restaurant's attorney.
The details of the settlement are confidential, but the parties said the company has made "extensive changes" to ensure a similar accident won't happen again.
"The parties emphasize that all of their interactions since the accident have been amicable," the press release reads, "And they are pleased that this matter was resolved without litigation. Everyone involved is grateful that Ms. Harding has made a good recovery since the accident."
Jan Harding, 67, was critically injured Aug. 10, when she swallowed the tea that was contaminated with a chemical mixture used as a degreaser.
The chemical burned the inside of Harding's throat and esophagus. Doctors at University Hospital had to insert a breathing tube, and it was six days before she could speak again. She left the hospital later that month.
Employees at Dickey's quickly discovered that the industrial degreasing compound apparently mistaken for sugar had been mixed into the tea. The solution was 67 percent sodium hydroxide, which is the active ingredient in drain cleaner, commonly known as lye.
At an Aug. 29 news conference, Harding said she wanted something positive to come of her near-fatal ordeal.
"I'm hoping to see and hear some good come of this," she said, " ... see [restaurants] become proactive to keep this from happening to anyone else."
Prosecutors announced in September that they would not be filing criminal charges in the case. Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill said at that time that prosecutors saw no evidence of criminal wrongdoing to show that the tainting of the sweet tea with industrial cleaner at the Dickey's BBQ, 689 W. South Jordan Parkway, was anything but an accidental act and a case of poor judgment.
"There were certainly errors or mishaps that occurred," Gill said, "but none of that rose to the level of what we were charged to do: Look for criminal charges."
Dallas-based Dickey's Barbecue Restaurants Inc. has said the incident was isolated and unprecedented in the chain's 73-year history.