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Man who says he found two geckos in his Heineken is suing brewing company, claiming he got 'violently ill'

An Orange County man who says he found two geckos in a can of Heineken beer he bought from a supermarket in Fountain Valley is suing the brewing company, claiming he got “violently ill” after drinking the beverage.

In August 2015, George Toubbeh opened a 24-ounce can of beer he bought from a Ralphs supermarket. When he began drinking, he noticed the drink tasted foul, according to the civil lawsuit filed last week in Orange County Superior Court.

Soon after, the lawsuit states, Toubbeh felt severe abdominal pain and began vomiting. When his daughter inspected the can, she found two dead geckos inside.

The lizards were not decomposed, the lawsuit said, and were probably alive when the beer was poured and sealed.

A Heineken spokeswoman said Wednesday the allegation was false.

The company “holds the safety and integrity of the products we import to the highest standards,” Tara Rush said in a statement. “We have investigated this isolated claim and, based on a number of factors, we confidently believe there is no merit to this claim.”

According to the lawsuit, Toubbeh went to the emergency room, where he was given medication and instructed to return if his symptoms didn’t improve. Two days later, he went to an urgent care center with stomach pain, loss of sensation, hyperactive bowel movements and a near complete loss of appetite.

The man was forced to miss several weeks of work and racked up substantial medical expenses, the lawsuit said.

He is suing Heineken and the supermarket owner, the Kroger Co., alleging breach of implied warranty, strict liability, negligence and negligent infliction of emotional distress. He is seeking unspecified damages.

alene.tchekmedyian@latimes.com

Twitter: @AleneTchek


UPDATES:

Aug. 9, 11:16 a.m.: This article was updated with a response from Heineken.

This article was originally published on Aug. 8 at 10:30 p.m.

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