Woman Finds ‘Hair, Stone’ in Pepsi Cola, Files Suit

A women lodged a damage suit before the Regional Trial Court against Pepsi Cola after finding a “ball of hair” and a “stone” inside her softdrink bottle in two instances.

Angelita Pacaldo, a naturalized American citizen, but residing in Sitio Tambis in Barangay Pooc, filed a damages suit against Pepsi Cola Products Philippines Inc. and its general manager Martin Borromeo.

In her seven-page complaint, Pacaldo said she was an “avid Pepsi drinker” for a long time before the incident happened in 2007.

Pacaldo, through her lawyer Margarito Ygoña, said she and her companion, Antero Kong, were heading to Barili town on board a motorcycle to search for a possible business site when they stopped by the road and bought a bottle of soft drinks and mineral water.

“When she (Pacaldo) checked the bottle and the remaining contents, she saw hair inside (that was) still floating,” the complaint stated.

“Plaintiff stuck her finger down her throat to get something that (got) stuck in her throat. This caused her to vomit and dislodge a ball of hair,” it added.

After that, Pacaldo complained of headache and stomach pain. They immediately went home so she could take some medication.

In the evening, Pacaldo had high fever and diarrhea, which lasted for several days. She sought treatment from a doctor and eventually got well.

But the incident occurred again on Dec. 8, 2007.

Pacaldo and Kong were on their way to the airport for their flight to Virginia, USA when they stopped by a store by the road in Mandaue City and bought a bottle of Pepsi.

Ygoña said Pacaldo was about to open the bottle when she noticed an object inside.

Pacaldo said she showed the soft drink bottle to Kong, who advised her to keep the bottle for evidence.

When they returned to the country, Pacaldo called up Borromeo and complained about the product.

A few days later, two personnel from the company based in Barangay Tulay, Minglanilla, Cebu went to their residence and inspected the bottle.

Pacaldo said Emma-laine Quioyo, a Pepsi employee, offered them one box of canned soft drinks after admitting the
contaminated bottle was part of their promotion in 2006.

But Pacaldo refused to accept the offer and told the Pepsi employees she would use it as evidence in a complaint she will be filing in court.

Ygoña said his law office wrote Borromeo about the complaint of Pacaldo but the letter was ignored.

It was then when Pacaldo went to the Bureau of Foods and Drugs (Bfad) 7 in Cebu City last Aug. 12, 2008.

She asked for a certification from the agency that the bottle was not tampered.

Since Bfad 7 does not have the laboratory to determine the contents of the bottle, Pacaldo went to the Bfad central office to have it examined.

Based on its test report, Bfad central office confirmed a “grayish, round material that appears like stone” was found inside of an untampered and unopened bottle of Pepsi.

“(Pacaldo) suffered and continued to suffer mental anguish, moral shock, sleepless nights and similar other feelings,” the complaint read.

Pacaldo asked the court to order the soft drinks company to pay her P1 million in moral damages; P100,000 in exemplary damages; P100,000 in attorney’s fees plus P2,000 per lawyer’s court appearance; P2,000 for litigation expenses and other expenses amounting to P20,000.

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