Two years ago this month, a California man’s beer experience was allegedly spoiled so badly, he’s suing Heineken and the grocery purveyors that sold him the brews. At home, George Toubbeh had a sip of his Heineken and “noted that the beer had a foul taste,” then he experienced “severe abdominal pain followed by vomiting,” according to his lawsuit. That’s when his daughter inspected the bottle and allegedly found two dead 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 says. “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.”
According to the suit, “severe stomach pains and cramps, loss of sensation, hyperactive bowel movements, and nearly complete loss of appetite” in the days following the incident sent him to the hospital, where he returned two days later after medication didn’t help.
The Fountain Valley man also claims to be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of the experience. He’s suing Heineken, Kroger (which owns Ralph’s Grocery, where the beers were purchased), and local distributors for the cost of his medical expenses, money lost for missing work, and other damages.
Heineken disputed Toubbeh’s claim.
“Heineken USA holds the safety and integrity of the products we import to the highest standards,” said a spokeswoman, according to Consumerist. “We are currently investigating this isolated claim and based on a number of factors we confidently believe there is no merit to this claim.”