Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Sometimes you have to tell your lawyer "no"

And I say that as a lawyer. Your attorney may have figured out a great path to victory, at least at trial. But sometimes winning can be a bad loss. Or maybe a really bad marketing fail. Take for example the case of Ball v. PepsiCo, et al.. It is alleged that poor Mr. Ronald Ball purchased a can of Mountain Dew. However, rather than refreshingly quenching his thirst, Mr. Ball alleges the following befell him:
"After purchasing said can of Mountain Dew, plaintiff opened the can and immediately became violently ill, such that he began to vomit," the suit claims.

The suit claims he poured the soda into a Styrofoam cup, "wherein the mouse was found."
But wait, the tale (pardon the pun) gets better. Rather than pay some hush money, PepsiCo hires some pit bull litigators who come up with a brilliant legal strategy. Gizmodo sums it up well:
Pepsi has moved to dismiss the case, according to the Madison St. Clair Record. Why, you ask? It cited expert testimony that the mouse would have dissolved in the soda before Ball ever had the chance to drink it.

Wait, so, is Pepsi's defense basically that you'd never know if there was a mouse in your soda? Kind of.

Pepsi's expert says the mouse would have become a "jelly like" substance long before Ball ever popped the top.

That's not mouse. It's just mouse jelly. Which also sounds delicious! Let's all drink a soda.

As I said, brilliant. PepsiCo can never be found liable for your drinking a soda with a mouse they packaged in a can because it would have dissolved to mouse gel by the time it got to you!


Dave H said...

I work with people like that all the time. They're called engineers. To them, being right is its own reward.(grin)

2cents said...

Not sure engineers have a monopoly on that train if thought...

Borepatch said...

And I thought that the Bass-o-matic was a parody.

Ken said...

PepsiCo has a lot of experience dealing with stuff like this (remember the "syringes in the Pepsi" proliferating copycat hoaxes of about 20 years ago?). I taught it as a PR case this fall.