The big Coca-Cola bottle in the outfield of AT&T Park in San Francisco has a slide in it, and that slide is called the Guzzler. The sign says “keep your head and arms inside the Guzzler at all times.” But Chad Mello — HE WAS A DAREDEVIL! — just like his old man!
“My foot just twisted and got caught in one of the turns, the rest of my body just went forward; I felt a pop in my knee and I immediately knew something was wrong,” Chad Mello said. Mello shattered his knee and broke his ankle as he slid down the giant Coca-Cola slide called the Guzzler. Mello took his family to the ballpark in July 2008 as a birthday gift for his son Calvin.
Mello’s lawsuit comes on the heels of a jury’s decision last fall to award $177,000 to Terry Raush, who was also injured riding the Guzzler. She won her lawsuit against Coca-Cola and the Giants. Her attorney Fred Meis now represents Mello. Coca-Cola continues to contend the slide is safe.
I really have no idea if these suits have any merit. Maybe the slides are inherently dangerous and maybe the Giants and Coke and whoever else is capable of accepting service of process didn’t do everything they could do to make them safe. I just can’t help but wonder, however, why adults are allowed to go down a big playground slide in the first place. And don’t tell me it’s a safety-of-children thing. As far as we know, kids aren’t getting hurt doing this. Indeed, in my own experience, kids can do all sorts of things without getting hurt — running, jumping, skipping, falling, fighting, stretching, eating stuff with sugar in it, waking up early — that put us grownups down for the count.
There are big plastic animals and climby things in the middle of a mall near our house. If a kid over the age of 10 or so gets on them, security comes and shoos them away because they’re too big. I can’t see why the Giants don’t institute the same policy with the Guzzler.