Mouse in Mountain Dew saga comes to an end

Christina Stueve Hodges Aug. 6, 2012, 8:07am

A Madison County plaintiff who sued Pepsico after allegedly finding a mouse in a can of Mountain Dew has settled his 2009 lawsuit.

"It was a confidential settlement at the plaintiff's request," said plaintiff's attorney Ed Unsell on Monday.

"They (Pepsi) maintained their denial of liability," he said. "It was settled for an undisclosed sum. It's a done deal, and both parties are on their way."

Unsell, attorney for plaintiff Ronald Ball, and Michael Nester, attorney for defendant Pepsico, Inc., filed for dismissal on July 30.

Ball claimed he bought a can of Mountain Dew from a vending machine at his workplace at Marathon Oil in Wood River on Nov. 10, 2008.

He claimed he opened the can, took a drink and immediately became so violently ill that he threw up.

The contents of the soda can were immediately poured into a Styrofoam cup, where a dead mouse was found, according to the lawsuit.

In its defense, Pepsico had said that the mouse body would have transformed into a jelly-like substance had it been in the soda for as long as Ball alleged it was.

Pepsico, Inc., in its answer to the plaintiff's second amended complaint, also admitted the plaintiff made a telephone call Nov. 10, 2008, and a representative spoke to Ball.

Ball sought damages in excess of $75,000.

The case drew international media attention in January.

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

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.

The Tonight Show also featured a spoof with a depiction of a cartoon mouse being eradicated by an aerosol-type Mountain Dew product.

Madison County case number 09-L-440.

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