PepsiCo's Defense in 'Mouse in Mountain Dew' Lawsuit May Cause It Even Greater Problems
Every so often you hear about a bizarre products liability case where a customer complains about a nasty foreign object that supposedly turns up in their bowl of chili, Big Mac, etc. Some of these turn out to be frauds (such as a recent "finger-in-the-chili" allegation), and the rest of them presumably get settled and quietly fade from view.
A case filed in 2010 alleging the presence of a mouse in a can of Mountain Dew has taken a different course, however, as PepsiCo has defended the case in an unusual way. PepsiCo's lawyers in the case hired a veterinary pathologist to examine the mouse, and the pathologist submitted testimony in a motion for summary judgment that the mouse could not have been sealed in the can as alleged. If the mouse had been sealed in the can of Mountain Dew, the pathologist stated, its body would have disintegrated due to the acid in the soda and transformed into a "'jelly-like' substance."
So PepsiCo is telling me my can of soda is so acidic that it will turn a mouse into jelly? Thanks for that mental image! I'm not sure which message I hate more: that there is a one in a billion chance that there will be a mouse in my Mountain Dew, or that there is a 100 percent chance that I am drinking something that is so acidic that it will turn a mouse's body into jelly. As the Atlantic Wire summed it up, "this seems like a winning-the-battle-while-surrendering-the-war kind of strategy that hinges on the argument that Pepsi's product is essentially a can of bright green/yellow battery acid."
A trial had been scheduled in the case for Nov. 28, but that trial date was vacated by the court on Nov. 10. On Dec. 14, the Madison County Record reports, the court ruled that PepsiCo now has until Jan. 11, 2012 to answer or file a responsive pleading to the plaintiff's second amended complaint.
Posted by Bruce Carton on January 3, 2012 at 04:23 PM | Permalink
| Comments (4)