The Cockroach in the Coke Bottle

A Beijing man surnamed Gao is suing the Beijing Coca-Cola beverage company after he found a three centimeter long cockroach like incest inside a bottle of sprite that he purchased from a supermarket.

Mr. Gao took the company to court in 2008 requesting that the company apologize for the incident, pay him 2.05 yuan in compensation, 2.05 yuan as a penalty and 1 yuan for psychological damage.

The Daxing court recently ruled that the Beijing Coca-Cola Beverage Company must pay Mr. Gao 2.05 Yuan in compensation, and said that ¡°The Beijing Coca-Cola Beverage Company, as an influential drink producer, should improve its supervision of food safety. All of its products should meet the quality standard and avoid endangering their customers' health.¡± The court however dismissed Mr. Gao¡¯s other requests. Mr. Gao said that ¡° I don¡¯t want the money.¡± However he was still dissatisfied with the results and is currently seeking appeal.

The 2.05 Yuan compensation is undoubtedly inconsequential to the Beijing Coca-Cola Beverage Company¡¯s overall financial health, however; the negative media and damage to the Coca-Cola brand could be irreparable.

This ruling takes place on the heels of recent reports that sprite from the same company had been found to be tainted with mercury. This tainted Sprite was allegedly the cause of two cases of mercury poisoning in nearby Tianjin.

If Coca-Cola wishes to maintain its reputation of being the producer of a world class beverage, it must take significant measures to ensure that all of its products adhere to the highest levels of health and safety standards.

Edward Lehman managing director of Lehman, Lee and Xu said that ¡° the mere fact that an individual was able to bring a suit against a major company like this demonstrates how far China¡¯s legal system has come. While there is still much work to be done, we are all excited to be a part of China¡¯s expanding legal system and help to establish the rule of law in China.¡±

-Alexander Pan

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