Judge says Mars bars and Coke gave him diabetes
12 May 2005, HAMBURG - A magistrate in Germany found himself on the other side of the bench on Thursday when an appeals court judge told him he had failed to come up with proof against the makers of Coca-Cola that their product contributed to making him a diabetic.
12 May 2005
HAMBURG - A magistrate in Germany found himself on the other side of the bench on Thursday when an appeals court judge told him he had failed to come up with proof against the makers of Coca-Cola that their product contributed to making him a diabetic.
It was the second legal setback that Judge Hans Josef Brinkmann has had to swallow. Another court in 2002 rejected his complaint that Mars bars and Snickers, which he washed down with a litre of Coca- Cola a day, had also helped to cause his diabetes.
Brinkmann has been waging his legal battle against Coca-Cola and Mars Incorporated for nearly five years, claiming that he was diagnosed with diabetes in 1998 following a four-year chocolate- and Coke-guzzling binge.
Stress prompted him to eat candy bars and drink Coke compulsively between 1994 and 1998, resulting in diabetes Mellitus Type II, the 48-year-old jurist claims.
On Thursday, however, the magistrate hearing his case, Judge Mathias Kirsten, said the plaintiff had failed to prove his case.
"It is common knowledge to every consumer that Coca-Cola contains a not inconsiderable amount of sugar," said Kirsten of Essen State Superior Court.
"The very fact that it is sweet to the taste suffices to confirm that. It is therefore up to the consumer to regulate his consumption."
In a similar case in Duesseldorf in April 2002, another judge ruled against Brinkmann in throwing out his case against Masterfood, the German subsidiary of Mars Inc. That judge said there is no proven causative link between diabetes and consumption of food products rich in sugar.
Lawyers for Masterfood pointed to the plaintiff's chronic weight problem and hereditary factors as more likely causes. He weighed 118 kilos when he was diagnosed. His mother also had diabetes, the court heard.
Subject: German news