Coca-Cola Company and Coca-Cola Central, East and West Africa Limited have poked holes in evidence adduced in court in a case where 60 residents of Busia have sued for damages after allegedly drinking contaminated sodas between 2011 and 2014.
In their written submissions dated November 30, the two companies argued that the plaintiffs’ witnesses failed to prove that they suffered harm after drinking the soft drinks.
The defendants stated that their accusers and prosecution witnesses gave inconsistent evidence before the court. The Coca-Cola Company is the first defendant, Coca-Cola Central, East and West Africa Ltd is the second defendant while Equator Bottlers is the third defendant.
The case against the companies was filed on September 25, 2014 by Zablon Barasa, Richard Bwire and Stephen Serulo on behalf of 57 other complainants.
Through Kaplan and Stratton Advocates, the 1st and 2nd defendants told Busia High Court Judge Kiarie Waweru that the plaintiffs’ claims were speculative and their case has no merit.
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“All the plaintiffs and witnesses ate various foodstuffs and drinks on the dates or near the dates they claim to have allegedly drank the soft drinks they claim caused them injury. It is impossible for the court to conclude that the alleged consumption of the soft drinks is what caused them harm,” they submitted.
Equator Bottlers, through Anjarwalla and Khanna LLP Advocates, argued that none of the contents of the soda bottles underwent independent microbiological or chemical analysis. The Kenya Bureau of Standards, the court heard, only conducted a visual inspection of the unopened bottles.
The plaintiffs, who claim they suffered from abdominal pains, vomiting, general body malaise and passage of loose stools, have asked the court for Sh750,000 each in general damages. Justice Kiarie will deliver his ruling on January 27.