Man sues over beer scare

(UPDATED with copy of lawsuit) A 40-year-old Spring Lake man is suing an Ohio brewing company after a beer cap allegedly exploded into his face. Cory Stillson was treated at North Ottawa Community Hospital in June 2011 for injuries suffered to his face, lip and nose, said Jason Barrix, principal attorney for the Barrix Law Firm of Grand Rapids and Grand Haven.
Becky Vargo
May 9, 2012

Barrix attorney Timothy VandenBerg filed the lawsuit on Stillson’s behalf Friday in Ottawa County Circuit Court.

Stillson was at home on June 6 when he started opening a bottle of “beer-ale” manufactured by the Thirsty Dog Brewing Co. of Akron, Ohio, Barrix said.

“When upon opening the bottle, there was an explosion resulting in the bottle cap striking the plaintiff in the face,” the lawsuit reads.

“He had a bottle opener,” Barrix clarified.

In addition to the facial injuries, the lawsuit claims that Stillson incurred “pain and suffering, medical expenses, and other economic loss, fright and shock.”

“Essentially, it is a product liability type of matter,” Barrix said. “Just like if you put rancid meat in the market place, you have the same type of responsibilities.”

Barrix said the company has a duty to exercise reasonable care.

“Therefore, they breached their duty on that, resulting in injuries,” the attorney said.

Barrix said now that the lawsuit has been filed, there will be discovery — which is written information going back and forth between the two sides. That could be followed by depositions of the medical personnel involved in the case, Stillson and the brewing company, the attorney said.

The lawsuit says that the amount in controversy exceeds $25,000 — “exclusive of interest, costs and fees.”

Thirsty Dog Vice President John Najeway said they were not aware of this incident until Tuesday when they received a copy of the complaint. Najeway said he could make no further comment at this time.

To read the entire lawsuit, click on the PDF below:


Da Bull

This case is a prime example of clogging our judicial system with wasteful cases.


Should have stuck with Michigan brewed beer.


I agree....this is just the very reason why companies are going out of business, or having to charge more for their products and services. Probably shouldn't have shook the bottle before trying to open it in the first place. When are people going to stop blaming someone else for their stupid mistakes. Hey while you are at it, sue the bottle maker for making a faulty bottle. Sound ridiculious???? Yeah about as ridiculous as this lawsuit. Not to mention the "ambulance chaser" taking this case on in the first place. Just remember when it costs more to buy your beer. You are the reason for the rising costs. I hope you lose, and have to pay this lawyer and you come out in the hole even more. GROW UP!!!!!!

Must have some debt that needs paid off. So let's drum up some stupid lawsuit to get the money.


It took you almost a year to drum this lawsuit up. All I can say is WOW!!!!!!


So what's next...Would you sue a knife manufacturer if you cut yourself? This guy should go sue the BeeGees, because listening to them turned him into a pansy.


Hey, Don't badmouth the BeeGees that way. Why don't you use Barry Manilow as an example... much better....


hey, they list the names in the article. Send this guy some "fan" mail or picket outside of his house. if the public bugs people like this enough, maybe (probably not) they will think twice!

No One Special

This is another difficult to believe case. The only reasonable explanation is he was drunk, tried to open it with his teeth, and somehow managed to hurt himself. Now he and his attorneys want some free cash. They didn't give the name of the guy, but the law firm is mentioned. Don't send fan mail, don't picket, just boycott the firm.....the Barrix Law Firm of Grand Haven. Maybe they'll have to go get real jobs that don't suck the lifeblood out of decent, hardworking people.


The guys name is Cory Stillson ":Cory Stillson was treated at North Ottawa Community Hospital in June 2011 for injuries suffered to his face, lip and nose, said Jason Barrix, principal attorney for the Barrix Law Firm of Grand Rapids and Grand Haven."


This is what happens when you shake the darn beer bottle, and now because of this we all will suffer because all beers will be dry and stale tasting, not to mention a new label warning on beer bottles and a possible increase in beer prices. This is so wrong and this guy cannot be a true beer lover.


You have got to be kidding me people!! A drunk injures himself opening a beer bottle and he tries to sue the company?! What is the world coming to people?!


A beer cap doesn't blow off unless it is under pressure, and the bottle could not be under pressure unless this dummy dropped it, shook it, or pulled it out of the microwave and quickly open it with his face ontop of it. Tonight, I'm going to grab two cases of Coke and throw myself down a flight of stairs and then, open all 48 cans as fast as I can and try to put my eye out and then, go get a lour ya' and sue! This country is gasping for tort reform and it is nowhere in sight. Ever notice how lawyers never sue each other. Seems like an anti-trust angle here for the people, somewhere.


It's time to rally people! THE MAN is trying to take away our tasty beer! It's also evidence of people in Ohio waging war on Michigan! I tell you.....we need to ......OCCUPY! How about we place our encampment at Old Boys? Anyone up for it?


um actually this dude used to come into the restaurant i worked at always trying to get free beer or food. he's been banned from restaurants all over town because of this!!!!! he's just trying to get free money from them!! i hope they realize this!! him, his wife, and brother and brothers wife all would do it!!!


They owe half the town money and they are regular bar flies that are very disliked in the area!
DESPERATE PEOPLE TAKE DESPERATE MEASURES! When people hit ROCK BOTTOM in life they can become very desperate! Not sure which I think is more desperate at this point the guy or the lawyer taking the case. Scientifically this scenario is pretty much impossible!!!! PURE STUPIDITY, but the complaint confirms the lack of common sense already! Drunks can do dumb things!


I'm sorry, but did the bartender put a gun to his head and force him to open the beer that carelessly? I seriously doubt it. This guy should get some jail time and hefty fines for this stupid lawsuit. His lawyer should get disbared.

No One Special

On behalf of our area, I want to apologize to the Thirsty Dog Brewing Company for the amount of time and money our resident and his attorney will cost you with this frivolity. If we could pass an ordinance outlawing stupidity and attorneys...we would.


"Fright and Shock"? Really guy, it's just a beer cap. We all know you just got a little excited and popped off the cap a little hard and it flung up and hit your sensitive face. The Horror!


I say get off your dead a$$ and get a job like the rest of us. Way to run your family name into the dirt.

liezel jane jandayan

Wierenga believes he may be the longest-living heart transplant patient from the University of Pittsburgh. Two other heart patients had been living longer, but one has since died and the other required a second heart transplant.-Dr. Paul Perito


This is the first time that i heard of something like this happening. A beer cap exploding in your face would be so bad. Not sure if i would do a lawsuit on this. mortgage brokers Toronto

Post a Comment

Log in to your account to post comments here and on other stories, galleries and polls. Share your thoughts and reply to comments posted by others. Don't have an account on Create a new account today to get started.