A man who found a dead mouse in a can of Mountain Dew after taking a swig from it is suing Pepsico, a store and its manager.
Ronald Ball claims he bought a can of Mountain Dew from a vending machine located at his work place, Marathon Oil, in Wood River on Nov. 10, according to the complaint filed April 29 in Madison County District Court.
"After purchasing said can of Mountain Dew, Plaintiff opened the can and immediately became violently ill such that he began to vomit," the suit states.
Immediately, Ball poured the Mountain Dew into a Styrofoam cup. Along with the liquid, a dead mouse plopped out of the can, Ball claims.
Before Ball purchased the can, it was sealed and had not been punctured or tampered with, the suit states.
The Mountain Dew had been purchased from defendant store Shop N' Save, where co-defendant Paul Pohlman was store manager, the complaint says.
After finding the mouse in his soda, Ball called the number on the side of the Mountain Dew can and made a formal complaint, he says.
An adjuster investigating Ball's complaint called him back to ask if Ball could send the mouse to the company as evidence of his claims, according to the complaint. Following the company's request, Ball sent the dead mouse to the company in a mason jar filled with the leftover Mountain Dew from the can.
However, when Ball requested the mouse be returned to him for use as evidence in the civil action and for independent testing, he was denied for a number of months, he says.
When Ball finally did receive the mouse back, it was destroyed, according to the complaint.
"By the time Defendant Pepsico eventually did return said evidence to Plaintiff, the evidence was in deplorable condition from having remained saturated in the liquid for an extended period of time and having been subjected to destructive testing by Defendant Pepsico which severely damaged the head, leg and lung of the mouse, such that the evidence is now unfit for further testing," the suit states.
Because of his sip of contaminated Mountain Dew, Ball incurred medical bills, sustained disability, lost wages and experienced pain and suffering, according to the complaint.
Ball claims Pepsico is guilty of breach of warranty and spoliation of evidence and is liable for its defective product.
Shop N' Save and Pohlman are also liable for the Mountain Dew can.
In the 10-count suit, Ball is seeking a judgment of more than $325,000, plus costs and other relief the court deems just.
He is also asking the court to rule that Pepsico's actions have prevented him from proving liability and that Ball is therefore entitled to a ruling on liability.
Ball is represented by Edward Unsell of East Alton.
Madison County District Court case number: 09-L-440.