Mouse in Mountain Dew case goes viral

Ann Maher Jan. 4, 2012, 7:53am

A Madison County personal injury lawsuit involving a dead mouse and a can of Mountain Dew has drawn international headlines.

Since yesterday, nearly 100 news outlets have picked up on plaintiff Ronald Ball's lawsuit against PepsiCo, as first reported in the Madison County Record.

Ball alleges that he bought a can of the soda from a vending machine at his place of work in November 2008, Marathon Oil in Wood River, and discovered a dead mouse after he took a sip from the can.

He "became violently ill such that he began to vomit," his suit states.

England's Daily Mail and Canada's Toronto Star were among the foreign news organizations that carried stories in their online editions today.

At home, ABC News, Fox News, the Smoking Gun and dozens of other publications ran stories.

The focus of reporting that went viral was related to PepsiCo's defense that the mouse's body would have transformed into a "jelly-like" substance had it been in the Mountain Dew for as long as the plaintiff had claimed.

Ball had sent the dead mouse to the company in a mason jar filled with the leftover Mountain Dew from the can.

A veterinary pathologist examined the mouse for PepsiCo, finding that the mouse's body would have disintegrated due to the acid in the soda.

PepsiCo's answer to Ball's second amended complaint is due Jan. 11.

Circuit Judge Dennis Ruth presides.

PepsiCo is represented by Steven E. Danekas and Cassiday Schade.

Ball is represented by Samantha Unsell, Ed Unsell and Thomas Q. Keefe, Jr.

Madison County Case Number 09-L-440

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