Australia deli sued over 'semen' in bottled water

SYDNEY (AFP) - An Australian woman is suing a deli after drinking bottled water that allegedly contained semen, lawyers said on Friday, with claims that DNA showed it matched the owner of the business.

Alicia Cooper has filed a writ of summons in the District Court of Western Australia against the owner, who no longer runs the business, according to media reports that were confirmed by Slater and Gordon, the legal firm representing Cooper.

Among its accusations the writ states the owner knowingly placed the sperm in the bottled water and allowed its sale.

"Instantly I knew something was not right, I just knew,"

Cooper, who is seeking damages and medical expenses for the stress and depression suffered from drinking the water, told Fairfax Media.

"You don't think anything like this would happen to you. It was just so hurtful. It's been so humiliating," she added.

After Cooper lodged a complaint about the water with the health department in the city of Stirling, a sample was collected for testing and the results revealed it contained spermatozoa, the Fairfax report said.

A DNA sample was taken from the owner and testing confirmed his sample was a profile match for the sperm in the water.

Lawyers said the civil action was lodged after no criminal charges were laid. Fairfax quoted West Australian police as saying their legal advice was that "this incident, although serious, did not constitute a criminal offence".

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