Product Recalls

Lawsuit: Man Claims He Became Ill After Discovering Mouse in Soda

PepsiCo is fighting a lawsuit filed by an Illinois man who claims he found a dead mouse in his can of Mountain Dew—by arguing the soda would have dissolved the mouse.

Ronald Ball, 52, from Madison County, Ill., claims he tasted something foul in the can of drink he purchased from a vending machine at his work.

According to his lawsuit, Ball claims he spat out the soda, the Madison County Record reported. He said he "took a drink, and immediately became violently ill such that he began to vomit."

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"The contents of said can of Mountain Dew were immediately poured into a Styrofoam cup wherein a dead mouse was found," the lawsuit alleges.

Ball sent the mouse to PepsiCo -- along with a letter of complaint -- but the oil company worker says the soda giant destroyed the body of the mouse, and therefore, his evidence.

The incident happened in November 2009 and Ball is seeking $50,000 damages.

PepsiCo has denied Ball's claims and moved to dismiss the case in an affidavit, saying testing showed the mouse would have dissolved in the drink had it been inside from the time of bottling to the time he claimed to have drank it.

Veterinarian Lawrence McGill noted the mouse would have dissolved into a "jelly-like" substance after 30 days if it had been in the can since it was sealed and shipped in April 2008, The Smoking Gun reported.

In explaining his credentials, McGill said he was "familiar with the effects an acidic fluid, such as common soda drinks including Mountain Dew, will have on mice and other animals."

He said if a mouse was submerged in Mountain Dew between four and seven days, the rodent "will have no calcium in its bones and bony structures."

The only part of the rodent that could survive, added McGill, was "a portion of the tail."

Ball opened the can of Mountain Dew 74 days after it was bottled at a PepsiCo facility in St. Louis, the company said.

PepsiCo said Ball has provided no evidence there was ever a mouse in the can.

The company is expected to defend itself against the allegations in a Wisconsin courtroom on Jan. 11.