- Arnd Wiegmann/Reuters
A man is suing Heineken and Kroger after he says he drank a beer with two geckos sealed inside.
In a lawsuit filed last week, George Toubbeh claims he purchased cans of Heineken beer from a Ralph’s Grocery (a regional grocery chain owned by Kroger) in Fountain Valley, California. Toubbeh drank a can of the beer in August 2015, noticing a “foul taste.”
Toubbeh then says he immediately experienced severe abdominal pain and began vomiting. His daughter allegedly examined the can and found two geckos inside.
“When discovered, the geckos had not been decomposed at all and were likely alive when the beer was poured and sealed into the cans in the bottling and/or canning facility,” the suit reads. “Based upon information and belief, the subject geckos likely got into the Heineken canning facility and into a can before the Heineken beer was poured and the top was sealed.”
Toubbeh was violently ill and had to visit the emergency room, the suit claims, experiencing “severe stomach pains and cramps, loss of sensation, hyperactive bowel movements, and nearly complete loss of appetite” in the days following the incident.
“He also suffered from extreme anxiety and post traumatic stress disorder (“PTSD”) as a result of finding the two geckos in his Heineken beer,” the suit reads.
Toubbeh is demanding that Heineken, Kroger, and local distributors pay for his medical expenses, loss of earnings (as he missed work following the incident), and other damages. Heineken says that Toubbeh’s claims claims are meritless.
“Heineken USA holds the safety and integrity of the products we import to the highest standards,” the company said in a statement. “We have investigated this isolated claim and based on a number of factors we confidently believe there is no merit to this claim.”
As Consumerist notes, this isn’t the first time that people have accused beverage makers of accidentally selling cans with critters packed inside. In April, a South Dakota man claimed he drank from a can of Coke with a mouse sealed inside – something that Coca-Cola says would be impossible, as the mouse would have decomposed.