Personal Injury Legal Cases

Pepsi Defective Product Causes Personal Injury

SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA

COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES

LYNDA J. RYAN, Plaintiff, 

vs.

PEPSICO, INC.; THE PEPSI BOTTLING GROUP, INC; BALL CORPORATION; NEW ALBERTSON'S, INC.; and DOES 1-10, Inclusive, Defendants.

CASE NO.: YC058827

[UNLIMITED CIVIL]

COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES

DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL

Comes now plaintiff LYNDA J. RYAN,  and for causes of action against defendants, alleges:

ALLEGATIONS COMMON TO ALL CAUSES OF ACTION

1. Plaintiff LYNDA J. RYAN is a competent adult and a resident of Blythe, Imperial County, California.  

2. Defendant Pepsico, Inc.  ("Pepsico") is a corporation authorized to conduct business in California who on information and belief is a manufacturer of the defective product described below and whose business activities in California led to the production and sale of such product to plaintiff, and as such is directly and/or vicariously liable to plaintiff for the injuries and damages alleged herein.

3. Defendant The Pepsi Bottling Group, Inc. ("PBG") is a corporation authorized to conduct business in California who on information and belief is a manufacturer and distributor of the defective product described below and whose business activities in California led to the production and sale of such product to plaintiff, and as such is directly and/or vicariously liable to plaintiff for the injuries and damages alleged herein.

4. Defendant Ball Corporation ("Ball") is a corporation authorized to conduct business in California who on information and belief is a manufacturer of the defective product described below and whose business activities in California led to the production and sale of such product to plaintiff, and as such is directly and/or vicariously liable to plaintiff for the injuries and damages alleged herein.

5. Defendant New Albertson's, Inc. ("Albertson's")  is a corporation authorized to conduct business in California who on information and belief is a retailer of the defective product described below and whose business activities in California led to the production and sale of such product to plaintiff, and as such is directly and/or vicariously liable to plaintiff for the injuries and damages alleged herein.

6. The true names and/or capacities, whether individual, corporate associate, governmental or otherwise of defendants Does 1 through 10,  inclusive and each of them are presently unknown to plaintiff and thus are sued herein by such fictitious names.   Their true names, entity status, capacities and roles in the tortious conduct alleged herein will be alleged by appropriate amendment after same has been ascertained.

7. Plaintiff is informed and believes and thereon alleges that  each defendant designated herein as a Doe is directly and/or vicariously liable  for the events and happenings which proximately caused the injuries and damages to plaintiff alleged herein, either through said defendant's own conduct (or failure to act) or through the conduct (or failure to act) of its agents, servants, employees, contractors, or representatives in some other manner.

8. Plaintiff is  informed and believes and thereon alleges that at all pertinent times each defendant was the agent, servant, employee, representative and/or joint venturer, or other status which gives rise to vicarious liability, in relation to one or more co-defendants  who at all times acted  within the course, scope and authority of said relationship. 

9. At all relevant times, each defendant was and is engaged in the business of manufacturing, fabricating, designing, assembling, distributing, selling, inspecting, servicing, repairing, marketing, warranting, leasing, renting, selling, retailing, wholesaling and advertising carbonated beverage products under the brand name of "Pepsi" and their containers, including but not limited such products known as "Diet Pepsi," and each component part thereof, which each defendant knew, or in the exercise of reasonable care should have known, would be used without inspection for defects in its structure, parts, mechanisms or design by the ultimate consumer thereof within the State of California.

10. One to three days prior to July 9, 2008, at defendant Albertson's retail outlet in Blythe, California, plaintiff purchased a carton containing twelve aluminum cans of Diet Pepsi.  Plaintiff removed all cans from the  carton and put them in an ice chest that she kept in the back of her van, and shortly thereafter discarded the carton.  Over the next few days, plaintiff  consumed most of  the beverages without incident and without indication of any problem with the cans, to the point that on July 9, 2008 there were 3 or 4 left in the ice chest.

11. On July 9, 2008, plaintiff,  went to the ice chest in the van, reached in and extracted one of the remaining cans of Diet Pepsi.  She did so in a normal movement that did not involve any excessive shaking or other act that would cause the carbonated beverage inside to become excessively stimulated.  She slid her fingernail underneath the pull tab on top of the can to activate it so that it would open the can in the normal fashion, namely by pressing down onto a portion of the can top which was designed to give way under such pressure so as to create an opening but be retained within and still connected to the can.

12. Before this movement was completed, the can exploded in Plaintiff's hand, causing the piece of metal which normally would be retained within the can to instead separate from it and fly at high velocity directly into Plaintiff's left eyeball and then out again.

13. As a result of this entry by such object into her left eyeball, plaintiff suffered traumatic globe rupture, extensive corneal laceration, lens destruction, corectopia, traumatic cataract, uveal prolapse, vitreous prolapse, and corneoscleral rupture.  At present, plaintiff has suffered essentially 100% loss of vision in her left eye.  It is not presently known whether such loss of vision will be permanent in whole or part, and that cannot be known until substantial completion of all necessary medical procedures. 

14. As a result of these injuries and their sequellae, plaintiff has undergone, and in the future will continue to undergo, extensive necessary medical diagnosis and treatment procedures, and has incurred and will continue to incur liability for the cost of same, and has suffered and will continue to suffer severe pain and mental suffering, all to her special and general damage in amounts to be proved.

15. Each of the above allegations is incorporated by reference into each cause of action stated below.  

FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION
(Strict Product Liability)

16. Defendants PBG, Pepsico, Ball, Albertson's and Does 1 through 10 each knew that the subject can was to be purchased and used without inspection for defects by consumers including plaintiff.

17. The  subject can and each of its component parts was manufactured, designed, assembled, packaged, tested, fabricated, analyzed, inspected, merchandised, marketed, distributed, labeled, advertised, promoted, sold, supplied, leased, rented, repaired, adjusted, selected and used with inherent vices and defects in design and and/or manufacturing and/or by failure to warn of the defect or potential thereof, which made it dangerous, hazardous and unsafe for its intended use or for reasonably foreseeable misuses. 

18. The existence of the defect in the subject can caused it to explode under normal usage by plaintiff.

19. Such explosion directly caused the injuries and damages alleged in paragraphs 13 and 14.

SECOND CAUSE OF ACTION
(Negligence)

20. At all times mentioned, each defendant  had a duty to properly manufacture, design, assemble, package, test, fabricate, analyze,  and inspect the subject can prior to placing it in the stream of commerce.

21. Each defendant knew or should have known that the subject can and each of its component parts was  not properly manufactured, designed, assembled, packaged, tested, fabricated, analyzed, or inspected for the use for which it was intended in that it was likely to injure the person who used it.

22. Each defendant breached its duty of care by negligently designing, manufacturing, assembling, packaging, testing and/or inspecting  it and each of its component parts, such  that it was a defective and dangerous product, unsafe for the use for which it was intended by consumers including plaintiff, and as a result thereof the subject can was placed into the stream of commerce. 

23. The injuries and damages alleged in paragraphs 13 and 14 were the direct result of said negligence.

THIRD CAUSE OF ACTION
(Breach of Implied Warranty)

24. At the time each defendant placed the subject can into the stream of commerce, it impliedly warranted that the subject can was safe for its intended use and was of merchantable quality.

25. Each defendant breached said warranty, because the subject can was not safe for its intended use and of merchantable quality in that it was defective and dangerous to a consumer using it in the normal fashion.

26. The injuries and damages alleged in paragraphs 13 and 14 were the direct result of said breach of warranty.

WHEREFORE, plaintiff prays:
1.  For compensatory damages in amounts to be proved;
2.  For costs of suit; and
3.  For other proper relief. 

DATED: November 19, 2009  Bisnar | Chase Personal Injury Attorneys, LLP

BY: ______________________________________________
BRIAN D. CHASE, Esq.
STEVEN MEEKS, Esq.
Attorneys for Plaintiff LYNDA J. RYAN

DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL

Plaintiff hereby demands a trial by a 12-person jury.

DATED: November 19, 2009.  Bisnar | Chase Personal Injury Attorneys, LLP

BY: ______________________________________________
BRIAN D. CHASE, Esq.
STEVEN MEEKS, Esq.
Attorneys for Plaintiff LYNDA J. RYAN

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