Was a Mouse Really Found in a Mountain Dew Can? Local Lawsuit Goes Viral

Remember Ronald Ball, the Illinois man who's been suing PepsiCo on a claim that he opened a can of Mountain Dew and found a dead mouse inside?

The Madison Record broke the story a year and a half ago, followed by the Daily RFT (here and here). But yesterday, websites from the Daily Mail in Great Britain to The Star in Canada to Fox News lit up with headlines announcing PepsiCo's rather macabre defense: That any mouse submerged in Mountain Dew that long would've completely disintegrated.

In a signed affidavit, a veterinary pathologist (who's studied just this sort of phenomenon) describes in gruesome detail what would befall such a mouse:
a. between four days to at most seven days in the fluid, the mouse will have no calcium in its bones and boney structures.

b. Within four to seven days in the fluid, the mouse's abdominal structure will rupture. Its cranial cavity (head) is also likely to rupture within that time period.

c. by 30 days of exposure to the fluid, all of the mouse's structures will have disintegrated to the point the structures (excepting possibly a portion of the tail) will not be recognizable,and, therefore, the animal itself will not be recognizable. Instead, after 30 days in the fluid, the mouse will have been transformed into a "jelly-like" substance.
To recap: Its skeleton falls apart, its head explodes, and it becomes jelly. In other words, the soda turns out to be a bit more acidic than actual dew on an actual mountain. 

But for all the media blitz, this defense proffered by PespiCo been out there for a while: PepsiCo filed the document several months ago, says Samantha Unsell, the Belleville-based attorney representing Mr. Ball.

"You know how these things go," she says. "It must've caught someone's eye. But it wasn't anything new."

Unsell says PepsiCo will have to file a response to her client's second amended complaint later this month.

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