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Charges: SD man feels dead mouse on his lips while drinking Coke

A Mitchell man is suing Coca-Cola after he allegedly grew ill from drinking a can of pop that had a mouse inside of it.

Court documents state Duane Putzier purchased two 16-ounce cans of Coca-Cola on the evening of June 7 from a Mitchell gas station. Putzier opened and drank the first can, but when he opened the second can, Putzier got an unpleasant surprise.

Just before 11 p.m., as he arrived home, Putzier had nearly finished the can of Coke when he felt an object inside the can "shift toward the opening" and touch his lips, causing him to spit out the Coke and pour the rest onto the ground.

Putzier and his wife, Rebecca, cut open the can with a tin snips and found a dead mouse, according to court documents.

The next day, Putzier allegedly became ill, experiencing uncomfortable symptoms. According to court documents, Putzier missed 60 hours of work, accumulated about $1,000 in medical bills and lost 30 pounds.

On Oct. 3, Putzier and his attorney, Braden Hoefert, filed a civil complaint against Coca-Cola Refreshments USA, accusing the beverage company of negligence, claiming the company had strict liability in the matter and violated an implied warrant of merchantability.

"Defendant had a duty to exercise reasonable care, and to comply with the existing standards of care, in their preparation, manufacture, inspection, transportation and sale of cans of Coca-Cola ... including a duty to ensure that consumers would not suffer from contaminants," the complaint said. "The finding of a dead mouse in a sealed can of Coca-Cola is an incident that, according to common knowledge and experience, does not happen unless those having management or control of the can were negligent."

The can was produced by a Coca-Cola facility on April 25, 2016, in Portland, Ind., court documents state. Neither a phone number for Putzier nor attorneys for Coca-Cola were listed.'

Putzier is seeking restitution of $2,026, plus general damages in any amount proven at trial, with interest.

A summons was issued to Coca-Cola on Oct. 3, requiring the company to answer the complaint within 30 days of the date the company receives the notice or "judgment by default may be rendered" against Coca-Cola. As of Wednesday, no response was filed with the Davison County clerk of court.

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