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Germany

Diabetic Judge Fails in Coke Court Action

A German judge who suffers from diabetes failed on Thursday in an attempt to sue soft-drink giant Coca-Cola for causing his condition. A court in Essen threw out 48-year-old Hans Josef Brinkmann's claim, ruling that the packaging of Coca-Cola's bottles and cans was clearly labelled with its sugary content. "It is generally known by consumers that the consumption of products containing sugar can have damaging effects on your health," the judgement said. The judges added that Brinkmann had aggravated his condition by drinking Coca-Cola. "Every consumer knows that Coca-Cola contains a not inconsiderable amount of sugar. That can be discerned from the sugary taste of the drink," said presiding judge Mathias Kirsten. It was therefore up to the consumer to regulate his own intake of the drink. Brinkmann was claiming 5,620 euros ($7,140) in damages and wanted Coca-Cola to pay the cost of his medical treatment. He told the court that between 1994 and 1998 he drank around one liter of Coca-Cola a day and ate chocolate bars on a daily basis because of the "considerable burden" of his work. He claimed he did not realise the risks of consuming Coca-Cola because the packaging was not clearly labelled. He estimated he had been consuming 27 kilogrammes of pure sugar every year during that four-year period.

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