Coca-Cola: Dead Mouse Was Too Fresh To Be Found In A Coke Can

Image courtesy of Geoff

A South Dakota man claims he purchased — and drank from — a can of Coca-Cola that had a mouse sealed inside, making him ill and causing him to miss work. But the Coke folks say this just isn’t possible, since a mouse sealed in a soft drink can would have been more decomposed.

The plaintiff bought bought the allegedly mousy beverage in June 2016, and claims that he drank most of the 16-ounce can before feeling something solid something solid inside shift and touch his lips. When he poured out the rest of the liquid, and cut the can open, he says he found the bonus rodent.

He is suing Coca-Cola for a modest amount, having medical bills related to his illness that total around $1,000, and he missed 60 hours of work. He also says that he lost thirty pounds due to his illness.

Coca-Cola, however, disputes that it’s possible to find such an intact mouse in one of its beverage cans. In the time that it would take for a mouse to be sealed inside a can at a bottling plant, then for the can to be distributed to a retail store and purchased, the mouse would have decomposed enough to have “compromised the can,” or given off gases that would make the can bulge or burst.

An attorney from Minnesota who is on the team representing Coke explained to the Mitchell Republic that the company “takes these cases extremely seriously and tries them all,” since allegations of mouse contamination are damaging to its brand. Settling for a modest amount would be cheaper and easier, but the company would rather defend itself at trial.

The plaintiff’s attorney originally filed the case as an expedited civil trial under a new law in South Dakota, but Coca-Cola has moved to hold a full trial instead, which would take multiple days and allow for more witnesses.

One of those witnesses would be a veterinary pathologist, who would testify about the condition of the mouse. We don’t have a picture of it as it came out of the can, but one of Coca-Cola’s attorneys gave a vivid description.

“It had fur. It had blood on its nose. Its limbs were intact. There was very minor decomposition,” he told the court.

In a similar case eight years ago involving a can of Diet Pepsi, the animal inside the beverage had decomposed to the point that the customer who found it thought that it was a mouse. It turned out to be an already-gutted toad.

The plaintiff is seeking $2,026 and general damages, plus interest.