A South Dakota man is suing Coca-Cola after allegedly finding a dead mouse in the 16oz. can of Coke he was drinking.
According to Duane Putzier, he was forced to miss 60 hours of work and accumulated $1,000 in medical bills after becoming violently ill due to the allegedly mouse-infested 16-ounce can of Coke he drank.
Putzier says that as he was drinking, he felt an object ‘shift toward the opening of the can’ as he was finishing the soda. After feeling the object in the can, Putzier and his wife Rebecca then cut it open and found a dead mouse. Then, the next day, Putzier became ill, forcing him to miss a combined 60 hours of work, as well as racking up $1,000 in medical bills. Putzier also claims he lost 30 pounds due to the incident.
On October 3, Putzier and his attorney, Braden Hoefert, filed a civil complaint against Coca-Cola Refreshments USA, accusing the beverage company of negligence, claiming the company had strict liability in the matter and violated an implied warrant of merchantability.
“Defendant had a duty to exercise reasonable care, and to comply with the existing standards of care, in their preparation, manufacture, inspection, transportation and sale of cans of Coca-Cola … including a duty to ensure that consumers would not suffer from contaminants,” the complaint said. “The finding of a dead mouse in a sealed can of Coca-Cola is an incident that, according to common knowledge and experience, does not happen unless those having management or control of the can were negligent.”
However, according to The Daily Republic, Coca-Cola attorneys disputed that there was proof that the mouse ended up in the can during bottling. Brian Johnson, an attorney for Coca-Cola, said the mouse would have been in a more advanced stage of decomposition and the can would have been compromised by consequent gases due to the fact that six weeks had passed between the bottling process and when Putzier opened the can.
Putzier is seeking restitution of $2,026, plus general damages in any amount proven at trial, with interest.
Meanwhile, Johnson said ‘Coca-Cola is faced with a claim that’s really an attack on its brand,’ and that ‘Coca-Cola takes these cases extremely seriously and tries them all.’