San Francisco Giants’ ballpark Coca-Cola slide the target of personal injury lawsuits

Monday, April 5, 2010

SF Giants’ Coca-Cola slide the site of injuries

SAN FRANCISCO — The famous Coca-Cola bottle slide at the San Francisco Giants’ waterfront ballpark is becoming known for another reason: lawsuits.

The team, which starts its season Monday, is facing a $6 million suit by Chad Mello, who injured his left knee and ankle in July 2008 on the slide, which shoots people through a green, 60-foot Coke bottle via metal tubes.

At least 55 people have been injured on the slide, known as the Guzzler, which failed two safety inspections in recent years, the Giants said.

Most of the injuries have occurred when a person’s foot gets stuck, twisting the slider’s leg and causing injury to the knee and ankle. Mello’s attorney, Fred Meis, said the injury has caused severe and permanent damage and that his client suffers from chronic pain as a result.

Meis said the Giants and Coca-Cola have known the dangers of the slide and have posted no warnings.

The team says it will not comment on ongoing litigation. Coca-Cola is referring any comment to the team.

“Inspections have proven the slide is unsafe, yet they continue to publicize it,” Meis said.

The Guzzler was designed by Hags Play, which previously reached an undisclosed financial settlement with Mello.

Mello’s is the fourth such lawsuit filed against the Giants and Coca-Cola since the park opened in 2000.

The Giants and Coca-Cola reached a confidential settlement in 2001 with a woman who broke her knee on the slide and settled another 2003 suit with a woman who also broke her knee.

A jury in 2008 awarded another woman $177,823 for her injuries.

The Examiner,

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