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Say goodbye to the Coca-Cola slide in San Francisco

Apr 5, 2010, 6:15 PM EST

Coca Cola slide.jpgMaybe not officially or anything, but the big slide in the Coke bottle at AT&T Park may not be around much longer:

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.

I was dismissive of the risks when the first lawsuit was filed a couple of years ago — and I haven’t seen the lawsuits or the evidence, so who knows if this Mello guy has a case — but if that many people are busting their ankles on the thing, it just might be inherently dangerous.

In other news, ballparks are for baseball games. Not carnival rides and other assorted amusements.

  1. Michael - Apr 5, 2010 at 7:08 PM

    Have you seen video of this?
    It’s a slide. It doesn’t “shoot” you anywhere, in much the same way rollerblade wheels don’t “propel” you. You sit down on a smooth surface and slide a short distance to the bottom. It has “metal tubes” to keep stupid people from standing up or falling off.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Z8g27e8-MY
    But I would agree that it’s “inherently dangerous” in much the same way that other playground items are inherently dangerous. And when there are deep commercial pockets to be picked…there you go.

  2. Jack Meoffer - Apr 5, 2010 at 8:05 PM

    Lawyers ruin everything and it’s a matter of time where there will be nothing to do wherever you go. It’s amazing what businesses cannot do because of some sleazy lawyer will sue you for.

  3. gary - Apr 5, 2010 at 8:09 PM

    Lawyers are killing this country.

  4. Craig Calcaterra - Apr 5, 2010 at 8:12 PM

    In my experience, it is usually those who have the least familiarity with our legal system who complain about lawyers the most.
    And no, I was not a plaintiff’s lawyer during my time in the law. I defended lawsuits for the most part.

  5. Jack Meoffer - Apr 5, 2010 at 9:25 PM

    Another scumbag lawyer defending another scumbag lawyer. Incestuous to the core. I’d rather have my child work for the sanitation department then taught to be a scumbag lawyer and skirt the law.

  6. Craig Calcaterra - Apr 5, 2010 at 9:42 PM

    I’d love to know what experience you have with lawyers and the legal system beyond being told that they’re scumbags by others. Of course there are scumbags. But there are also meritorious lawsuits too, the history of which has an awful lot to do with how safe our country is compared to the rest of the world in the workplace, in the home and in any other number of contexts.
    If left to its own devices, business and industry would still be producing lead paint and asbestos and people would still lose limbs as a matter of course in factories and coal mines. Are there problems? Of course, as anyone who has tried to purchase insurance or practice medicine knows well. But in the aggregate our society is a better, safer and more prosperous one because of advances brought on — intentionally or incidentally — by righteous litigation.
    Of course there are bad aspects to it all. Out of control class actions and the like, for example. But I would argue that most of the negative consequences of our legal system come not from an overzealous plaintiff’s bar, but from the corporate and defense bar, which create costs and overhead for business that far outstrips even the most irresponsible ambulance chasers you can imagine. A corporate and defense bar that I was part of for 11 years.
    Not that I expect you to be swayed by any of this. You sound very adamant about your feelings. The only thing I would ever expect you to be more adamant about is how wronged you’ve been if you ever find yourself hiring a lawyer and going after someone. Indeed, the only constant thing I ever see among those who paint the legal profession with a broad negative brush is the belief that every lawyer is a scumbag except their own.

  7. Mark - Apr 5, 2010 at 11:59 PM

    Craig, Attorney at Law, just spent what could have been $10.00 of billable time writin the above comment.

  8. Big Harold - Apr 6, 2010 at 11:25 AM

    Lawyers are like Pit Bulls, .. when their yours you want them as big, aggressive, cunning, ruthless and dominant as possible. But, if one finds themselves on the business end of one, .. then they should all be rounded up and “put down” for the good of society at large.
    I generally take a very evenhanded view of lawyers and considered law school myself at one time. That being said, suing a somebody for 6 million dollars because you broke ankle is BS. You can not justify that on any level, there isn’t that much pain and or suffering involved. It’s an obvious case of suing somebody with deep pockets. I lost my left arm, above the elbow, in an accident as a child and nobody even considered a figure anywhere near $6,000,000. And, it was settled for far less than what was asked for. Granted that was 35 years ago but the point stands. When lawyers petition for, and in some instances get, outrageous sums for relatively minor injuries it not only infuriates the general public because on some level they understand that we all pay for it through higher cost that are passed along to the customer. It insults the idea of fair play and reasonableness. Additionally, it also feeds the notion that, as a group, lawyers are nothing more than unethical ambulance chasers. More importantly, it undermines people with real and serious injuries that in many cases are permanent and life altering. I understand the notion that punitive damages are a way to keep large entities from running amuck but that should exclude common sense.
    This incident doesn’t appear as outrageous as the memorable woman who sued McDonalds when she burned her privates because she was stupid enough to place a cup of hot coffee it between her legs while she was going through the drive thru, but 6 mil because you went down a slide wrong, come on?

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