Houston Woman Buys Almond Joy at Walmart, Gets Maggots Instead

Chocolate and maggots just don't mix.
Chocolate and maggots just don't mix. Rhiannon/Flickr
All Peables Fowls wanted was an Almond Joy. Instead she got a lap full of maggots.

It's the kind of disgusting mishap that can ruin candy bars forever — and is therefore sufficiently horrific to warrant a $1 million lawsuit against Walmart, where she purchased the candy bar.

Back in October, Fowls purchased the candy bar from the check-out line at the Walmart on Rowlett Road in southeast Houston. When she got back to her car, she was just about to take a bite while pulling out of her parking space — and that's when a bunch of maggots started pouring out, getting near her mouth and falling all over her lap.

Fowls jumped out of the car while it was still in reverse to escape the maggots, screwing up her ankle on the way. As her car slowly moved backward, she hopped back in to put it in park to stop it from crashing, then marched into Walmart to make a report.

"Just talking about it and reliving it," said her attorney, Carl Gordon, "she became very nauseated and had shortness of breath and basically had a panic attack. They thought she was having a heart attack. They told her to lay down and called an ambulance, and transported her to Memorial Hermann for medical treatment for the panic attack, where she stayed overnight."

Gordon said that the nightmare has essentially changed the way Fowls eats, as she avoids anything that could possibly remind her of the time she almost ate maggots in an Almond Joy. She is still seeing a psychologist, he said.

Gordon said his team is currently investigating how the maggots could have even gotten in there to begin with. He believes it may have something to do with improper storage of the chocolate, causing contamination. If it turns out that the missteps were on the part of the Almond Joy's manufacturer, Hershey's, then, Gordon said, the company will be added to the lawsuit.

"Every person reacts differently, but I think we can all understand that if you purchase a candy bar, especially something like an Almond Joy at a Walmart, you expect it to be safe to consume," he said, "and when out of nowhere you open it and a bunch of insects and maggots fall out, it can be something that can stay with you for a long time. It's still stuck with her."
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Meagan Flynn is a staff writer at the Houston Press who, despite covering criminal justice and other political squabbles in Harris County, drinks only one small cup of coffee per day.
Contact: Meagan Flynn