Photo: NickNguyen, Flickr
We didn't want to end up with our, um, tail getting pulled, so we called up Reed Yurchak, who was reported as the attorney in the case, and asked him if it was true.
The short answer is...gross.
It turns out that Yurchak's client, 19-year-old Vitaliy Sulzhik, claims that he purchased a can of the hyper-caffeinated beverage last year from a local supermarket in Des Moines, Washington. (Not Iowa, folks, as has been reported.) Sulzhik was looking to get his Monster buzz on; instead, what he says he ended up with was a mouthful of...mouse.
The rigor mortis-ed rodent had somehow met its end at the bottom of the can. Sulzhik claims that he immediately lost his lunch; he eventually turned the can, mouse and all, over to Yurchak, who sent it to a local lab.
Yurchak says that he's spent almost a year trying to get the makers of Monster to own up to the dirty deed.
"It's one of those situation where you wouldn't want it to have to come to this," Yurchak tells Slashfood. "And it wouldn't have if we'd gotten any sort of response from the company. But they just kept stonewalling."
But the company has responded publicly, pointing out that Yurchak left the opened can unattended in his car, leaving plenty of time for a mouse to crawl into the drink.
The statement reads in part:
Common sense would dictate that if a mouse had been introduced into the can at production (a virtually impossible scenario given modern production technologies) which occurred months prior to Mr. Sulzhik's consumption of the product, the mouse would have deteriorated and the product would not have been drinkable from the very first sip.
As he was preparing the lawsuit, Yurchak claims that he was contacted by a woman who said she'd discovered a dead mouse in her can of Monster a few years ago. The "reasonable compensation" she received from the company: a free case of Monster.
If claims like this keep piling up, at the very least it would seem it's time to change Monster's slogan. "Unleash the Beast," indeed.