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In the Media

article imagePepsi defends lawsuit, says Mountain Dew turns a mouse to jelly

article:317293:93::0
By Leigh Goessl
Jan 4, 2012 in Business
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Madison - A man named Ronald Ball is suing Pepsi after he allegedly found a mouse in his can of Mountain Dew. The incident happened in November 2008 when the man says he opened a can of the soda product and discovered a dead mouse inside.
The case is coming to court, and Pepsi's attorneys are saying Ball's claim is impossible.
Ball said he popped open the Mountain Dew can, which he got from a vending machine at work, and tasted something foul. He spit the soft drink out and poured the contents of the can into a Styrofoam cup, which is when the mouse was discovered.
The Madison Record reported the case was originally filed in 2009, but is now going before a judge.
PepsiCo is disputing the claim saying the mouse could not have been inside the sealed can, and they have an expert who agrees and provides substantial detail in why he believes this to be the case.
The expert says Ball couldn't have gagged on a mouse because the ingredients inside Mountain Dew soft drinks would have disintegrated the mouse's body long before it made it to the vending machine, reported ABC News.
The Smoking Gun posted a copy of the affidavit from the expert testifying for Pepsi said the mouse would have become "a jelly-like substance" before the plaintiff would have had a chance to consume it.
The expert, Lawrence D. McGill, who holds a PhD. in veterinary pathology said, "If a mouse is submerged in a fluid with the acidity of Mountain Dew," the mouse would "between four days to at most seven days in the fluid, the mouse will have no calcium in its bones and bony structures."
Additionally McGill said "within four to seven days in the fluid, the mouse's abdominal structure will rupture within that time period." After 30 days of exposure to Mountain Dew, the expert said, "all of the mouse's structures will have disintegrated to the point the structures (excepting possibly a portion of the tail) will not be recognizable and, therefore, the animal itself will not be recognizable. Instead, after 30 days in the fluid, the mouse will have been transformed into a "jelly-like" substance."
PepsiCo asserts Ball would have opened his can of soda 74 days after the Mountain Dew was bottled in a St. Louis facility. The company alleges Ball has "no evidence" the mouse was inside the can when it was sealed. McGill says it is not scientifically possible the mouse he examined was in the can for that period of time.
The expert also indicated the mouse he examined was no older than four weeks old at the time of death.
Ball says when he discovered the mouse, he called PepsiCo, and a representative came and took the sample, but have since destroyed the sample and he cannot do independent testing.
The Toronto Star reported, Ball’s lawyer, Eddie Unsell of East Alton, Ill., said, “Either his science is wrong or they lied to him about when it was bottled. This is the best case like this I have ever seen. He (Ball) had witnesses who saw him walk over to the machine, buy the soda, open it and consume it and become violently ill.”
Unsell said his client only filed the lawsuit after the company accused him of lying. Ball is seeking $50,000 in damages.
One blog says, for those who are Mountain Dew drinkers, even occasionally, "No matter who you believe... it doesn't end pretty."
What could be worse than opening a can of soda and finding a dead mouse?
Apparently opening a can of soda and not knowing whether or not one may have previously been in there and had subsequently dissolved.
According to several media reports, PepsiCo is scheduled to defend itself in Madison County, Illinois Circuit Court on Jan. 11.
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