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Southwestern Coca Cola Bottling Co. v. Northern

Supreme Court of Arizona

January 27, 1947

SOUTHWESTERN COCA COLA BOTTLING CO.
v.
NORTHERN

Appeal from Superior Court, Maricopa County; Dudley W. Windes, Judge.

Judgment affirmed.

Jennings, Salmon & Trask, of Phoenix, for appellant.

V. L. Hash, of Phoenix, for appellee.

LaPrade, Justice. Stanford, C. J., and Udall, J., concur.

OPINION

LaPrade, Justice.

[65 Ariz. 173] Appellee, plaintiff below, recovered a judgment at the hands of a jury against the appellant in the sum of $ 500. In his complaint he alleged that he had become poisoned and sick and had suffered great discomfort and nausea after having partially consumed a bottle of coca cola in which it was charged there was a deleterious foreign substance in the nature of decomposed flesh. Specifically the complaint charged:

"That the defendant corporation is engaged in the manufacture, making, bottling and selling to the general public through retail merchants of a beverage known and

Page 220

called coca cola and that the defendant represents the said beverages to refreshing, delicious and harmless drink and an appetizing drink to be sold to the public through retail merchants.

"That on or about the 21st day of June, 1945, the plaintiff bought from a store known as Simpsons Market in Phoenix, Arizona, a bottle of coca cola manufactured, bottled and sold by the aforesaid defendant and paid therefor the required purchase price.

"That the said defendant corporation warranted to the general public and more particularly to this plaintiff that the aforesaid coca cola was a highly refreshing and harmless drink and fit to be drunk and that plaintiff paid to the retail merchant the purchase price therefor and drank and swallowed into his stomach the larger part of the said coca cola when he discovered that the said bottle of coca cola contained decomposed flesh and foreign animal matter and filthy and deleterious substances, and part of which plaintiff drank into his stomach and became poisoned therewith and became sick and suffered great discomfort and nausea and was compelled to be treated by a doctor for the condition caused by drinking the aforesaid coca cola and the deleterious substances contained in the aforesaid coca cola, all to his damage in the sum of One Thousand Dollars ($ 1,000.00)."

Plaintiff also alleged that "by reason of the breach of the warranty and by reason of the wanton negligence and carelessness of the defendant, plaintiff is entitled to punitive damages in the sum of $ 1,500."

[65 Ariz. 174] The plaintiff testified that he purchased the bottle of coca cola from a retailer who, in turn, had purchased it from appellant. Plaintiff further testified that he had partially consumed the bottle in the presence of the retailer and a friend when he swallowed something thick and slimy; that this caused him to vomit; and that the substance regurgitated looked like decomposed hamburger or flesh. This testimony was corroborated by the retailer and another ...


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