Angela Keeling, the widow of Marvin “Todd” Keeling, has sued the Atlanta Braves, as well as more than a dozen other companies that provide services at SunTrust Park, for his death after being locked inside a stadium cooler. The complaint states that the Braves knew the cooler door release mechanism was “faulty . . . improperly constructed, assembled, maintained, and allowed to exist despite notice . . .” but never fixed it.
On June 26, 2018, Keeling was an “invitee servicing and finalizing the installation of a beer tap system installed at SunTrust Park . . . also known as the Braves Stadium”, according to the complaint. While at the stadium, he sustained serious injuries while trapped inside of Cooler 331, resulting in his death. The cooler was “. . . filled with carbon dioxide and had no means of egress . . . ”, meaning that there was no way for Keeling to exit the cooler at no alleged fault of his own. The complaint states that the “asphyxiating gas” began filling the cooler and, as Keeling realized what was happening, he attempted to exit the cooler only to find that the handle was jammed.
Angela Keeling is seeking medical, funeral and burial expenses, as well as damages for pain and suffering and wrongful death, among other claims. It is “the plaintiffs’ intention to bring each and every claim permissible under Georgia law arising from the injuries to and death of Marvin ’Todd‘ Keeling.” The strongly worded complaint also details that at least one employee of Delaware North Companies Sportservice Inc. complained to coworkers prior to Keeling’s death that he and several others found themselves trapped inside Cooler 331 because of the “faulty handle.” The complaint also states that other defendants “received an email before Todd Keeling’s death that there were issues with the door release mechanisms in coolers throughout the stadium.” Keeling “. . . exercised ordinary care and was a victim free of any contribution to his death”, according to the complaint.