Nasty surprise in pop

Nasty surprise found in Pepsi

A Castlegar senior says she became ill and couldn't leave her home for a week last spring, after drinking a bottle of Diet Pepsi that had a nasty surprise at the bottom. Now, she's filed a lawsuit against PepsiCo.

In a notice of civil claim that was filed Friday, 69-year-old Denise Lebidoff says she bought a bottle of Diet Pepsi from Frosty's Liquor Store in Trail on the evening of May 9, before heading to dinner with her husband John in Castlegar, where she's lived for the past 42 years. Denise drank about two-thirds of the bottle on the drive, before securing the cap and and leaving it in the car.

About an hour and a half after first drinking the pop, Denise says she became ill, which involved “overwhelming abdominal pain, gastrointestinal distress and uncontrollable diarrhea.”

The next day, John noticed the bottle of pop in the car, and poured the remainder out on their front lawn. When he noticed something plugging the bottle, he took a closer look and saw a dead mouse inside.

“It was revulsion, I couldn't believe it,” Denise told Castanet News. “It's horrible, it's not something I would even wish on somebody I didn't like.”

By May 12, Denise's condition hadn't improved, and she went to the emergency room of the local hospital, where she was prescribed an antibiotic.

She continued to experience frequent abdominal pain and spontaneous diarrhea for the three weeks, and says she continues to seek medical treatment to this day.

“It was pretty rough, I couldn't really go too far because I couldn't make it the bathrooms,” she said. “You have no choice (but to stay home) unless you want to go out and take a chance.”

To make matters worse, Denise says she has always had a phobia of ”anything that crawls, that's got a tail and is fuzzy.”

“It was really, really hard, it's still really hard," she said. "It's not something that you get over in a day, it sort of stays with you.”

She says she never tasted anything strange when she was drinking the Diet Pepsi.

“I didn't notice anything, I honest-to-god didn't. I didn't even hear something plop in the bottle or something, because I had the radio on.”

Her lawsuit names several PepsiCo corporations as defendants, alleging they were negligent in failing to keep mice out of their bottles.

None of the allegations made in the notice of civil claim has be tested in court. PepsiCo has not yet filed a response to the claim.

As a result of the experience, Denise says she doesn't drink dark liquids anymore.

“I like to see what I'm drinking now.”

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