Pepsi expected to answer amended complaint in mouse in Mountain Dew case by Wednesday

Christina Stueve Jan. 10, 2012, 10:00am


PepsiCo has until Wednesday to answer an amended complaint filed against it by a man who claimed he found a mouse in a can of Mountain Dew.

Plaintiff Ronald Ball claimed that after opening and beginning to drink a Mountain Dew he bought from a vending machine at work in 2008, he tasted something foul. He claimed that when he spit out the soda, a dead mouse fell out.

The case, which was filed in April 2009 and has been reported on by the Record since them, drew national media attention last week.

It also turned into a spoof on Jay Leno's Tonight Show last Thursday.

"The interest from the media wasn't something we sought out," Ball's attorney, Samantha Unsell, said.

"He was at his place of work, and co-workers who have no reason to lie on his behalf witnessed him take a drink when he came out of the bathroom," Unsell said.

Ball claims he sent the mouse to Pepsi, which destroyed the mouse body. He also claims the company accused him of being a liar.

In its answer to the lawsuit, Pepsi cited expert testimony that the mouse would have dissolved in the soda if it had been in the can from the time of its bottling until the day Ball drank it.

"It wasn't until then that he got upset," Unsell said. "He was becoming a liar. They basically dismissed him. I find it interesting. Their own product would have dissolved the mouse. That's their only defense."

Unsell said she depositioned an expert who has evaluated 75 to 100 cases where people have claims of a mouse or gecko found in a soda.

"Of those 75, do you really think every single one of those people was lying?" she said.

No trial date has been set in the Madison County case, and no hearing will be held Wednesday. The case was filed in 2009.

Ball is seeking damages in excess of $50,000.

Steven E. Danekas and Cassiday Schade represent PepsiCo.

Madison County Circuit Judge Dennis Ruth presides.

The case is Madison Case number 09-L-440.

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