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Shattered beer tap handle leads to lawsuit against local brewery

Updated: March 9, 2012 8:11AM

A Plainfield woman is suing Two Brothers Brewing Co. and its distributor after one of its beer tap handles “shattered into jagged and dangerous pieces” as she tried to pour a brew at the restaurant where she worked.

Sandra Tinson was an assistant manager at a Tom & Eddie’s in DuPage County when the August 2010 incident left her permanently disfigured, according to her lawsuit.

She’s asking for more than $50,000 from Two Brothers — the Warrenville-based brewer of Domaine DuPage and other beers — as well as Windy City Distribution Co. and Taphandles LLC of Seattle.

Tinson’s attorney, Joseph Giamanco of Bolingbrook, filed the suit Monday in Will County court. It said Two Brothers bought the handle from Taphandles and gave it to Windy City to install at Tom & Eddie’s.

When Tinson tried to use it, pulling on the handle with her right hand and holding an empty glass in her left, it broke and sliced through Tinson’s left hand, wrist and arm, the suit said. Giamanco said the injury required multiple surgeries.

Taphandles President Paul Fichter said his company never sold handles to Two Brothers, and it plans to be dismissed from the suit.

“We wish the best for the person who was injured and hope that she has a speedy recovery,” Fichter said.

While Fichter said his company makes tap handles out of wood and plastic, Giamanco said the handle that injured Tinson was likely made out of porcelain. Her suit said it’s now sealed away at Tom & Eddie’s offices in Woodridge, though, because the restaurant refused to turn it over without a court order.

Calls seeking comment from Tom & Eddie’s, Two Brothers and Windy City were not returned.

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