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Heineken Sued for Dead Geckos in Beer Can

By Christopher Coble, Esq. on August 11, 2017 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Cracking open a 24-oz can of Heineken and noting 'a foul taste' is not an uncommon occurrence. Experiencing 'severe abdominal pain followed by vomiting,' on the other hand, only happens to some of us.

It also happened to California resident George Toubbeh back in August 2015. And when his daughter examined the tall can she discovered two small intruders -- juvenile leopard geckos, who, due to their un-decomposed nature, were probably alive and kicking when the beer was poured and sealed into the can. We know the Euro-lager is light on the hops, but geez ...

Bad Beer

Toubbeh is now suing Heineken, The Kroger Co. (which owns the Ralph's where he purchased two cans of skunky lager), and the beer's distributor, seeking to be reimbursed for his medical bills and missed income. According to his lawsuit, Toubbeh had to go to the emergency room, received testing and treatment, and was discharged with prescriptions for Xanax and Zofran. He claims he "continued to suffer from severe gastrointestinal ailments, emotional distress, trauma, and anxiety," and sought urgent care for "severe stomach pains and cramps, loss of sensation, hyperactive bowel movements, and nearly complete loss of appetite."

His lawsuit alleges he has also suffered from extreme anxiety and post traumatic stress disorder since the incident.

Isolated Claim

Heineken, for its part, denied the allegations in a statement to the San Francisco Chronicle: "Heineken USA holds the safety and integrity of the products we import to the highest standards. We have investigated this isolated claim and based on a number of factors we confidently believe there is no merit to this claim."

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