Monster Energy Drink maker calls mouse lawsuit 'nothing more than a shakedown'

Hansen Beverage Company has released an official statement rejecting a Federal Way man's claim that he found a mouse in a Monster Energy Drink.

Vitaliy Sulzhik is suing the drink maker after allegedly finding a mouse inside a can he purchased in March 2010. The lawsuit was filed March 28, 2011. Sulzhik wants compensation for what he called "the worst experience of my life."

Hansen's statement, dated April 1, opposes the notion that the mouse was introduced to the can during the drink's production.

According to the statement, the 16-ounce can in question was produced at a plant in Southern California. Had the mouse entered the can at the plant, according to Hansen's statement, it would have deteriorated and rendered the product undrinkable. In the statement, the company defends its manufacturing practices, which adhere to "the strictest safety standards in the industry."

"We wholeheartedly believe that this lawsuit is frivolous, unfounded and is nothing more than a shakedown," the statement said. "We strongly believe that we owe it to our consumers to assure them that there is no factual basis for Mr. Sulzhik's claim and we stand behind the quality and integrity of all our products."

Reed Yurchak is a Bellevue attorney representing Sulzhik. They are suing for negligence and product liability, Yurchak said, but have not put a specific dollar amount in the lawsuit.

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