Donna-hue v Stevenson? Woman called Donna finds dead lizard in her beer bottle

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By Katie King on

A modern take on the tort law classic

Image via Donna Metcalfe

A Kiwi woman can now empathise with the claimant behind classic tort law case Donoghue v Stevenson after she too found a nasty in her beer bottle. Oh, and she’s called Donna.

Over 80 years since the birth of the tort of negligence, Donna Metcalfe sat down with her husband last weekend to “see what was on Sky and have a beer.”

However Donna, from Christchurch, got an unwanted surprise when she allegedly found a decomposing Australian lizard in her Pure Blonde bottle. She told New Zealand news site stuff:

I was drinking it and not paying it any attention, and something touched my mouth. It looked like a little baby lizard and I instantly… thought ‘oh, you’ve got to be joking me’.

Donna — who believe it or not works for an accidental injury compensation scheme — took to Facebook that same weekend to deplore Pure Blonde. She sent the company a public message, which read:

Thanks for the dead lizard at the bottom of my beer! What are your quality controls?

Donna said she feared she’d be severely ill because the beer had been bottled in Australia, home of many poisonous animals. Mrs Donoghue, from Scotland, notably suffered severe gastroenteritis and shock after she famously found a decomposing snail in her bottle of ginger beer.

Hopefully Donna’s managed to avoid severe poisoning, but she has said she felt “really sick” when she saw the lizard and has since lost about two kilograms in body weight. She added:

I’m really disgusted that their quality control didn’t pick it up, and that I drank a beer with a decomposing lizard in it. And I’m really worried about my health.

The beer in question is bottled by Carlton & United Breweries (CUB), whose corporate affairs advisor, Sabine Wolff, said:

We have reached out to the consumer to understand the facts and check to see if she has any health issues. CUB is undertaking a thorough internal investigation of the issue to determine the facts.

Though there’s no word on whether Donna will be suing over this incident, Legal Cheek wonders whether Metcalfe v CUB could soon be the modern Donoghue v Stevenson.

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