The parents of a 19-year-old university student who was crushed to death by a Coca-Cola vending machine have filed a C$1m (US$657,500)lawsuit in a Quebec court, accusing the soft drink giant and the vending machine manufacturer of "gross carelessness."

In December of 1998, Kevin Mackle, was found pinned under a fallen Coke machine on his Bishops University campus in Lennonxville, Quebec, after he tried to loosen a soft-drinks can by shaking the machine, which weighed 420 kilograms.

A report from Quebec coroner René Maurice Belanger, noted that between 1978 and 1999, there have been 35 deaths and 140 injuries resulting from toppled vending machines, mainly in the US.

Coroner Bélanger recommended Coca-Cola place warning stickers on vending machines and ensure machines in schools and universities be equipped with "anti-fraud" devices that make it impossible to shake loose a free can.

A spokesperson for Coca-Cola Bottling Company said the company has implemented the coroner's recommendations across Canada but otherwise refused comment on the case.