Monster Beverage Sued For Wrongful Death of 14-Year-Old

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Oct 22, 2012

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Energy DrinkParents of 14-year-old Anais Fournier have filed a wrongful death lawsuit in California against Monster Beverage Corp., the maker of popular energy drinks. Fournier’s parents are claiming that their daughter’s consumption of two 24-oz. cans of the drink within a 24-hour period last year caused her to go into cardiac arrest, and eventually led to her death.

Failure to Disclose Toxic Levels of Caffeine

At the center of the lawsuit are claims that Monster concealed the amount of caffeine in its drinks and failed to test the effect of caffeine levels on the cardiovascular system. At particular risk are teens and adolescents, the very demographic to which the company actively markets with product names such as Rockstar, Full Throttle and Monster. While the FDA regulates the caffeine levels in sodas, it doesn’t for energy drinks. According to the lawsuit, two 24-ounce cans, like the ones consumed by Anais, contain 480 milligrams of caffeine. That’s the same amount of caffeine as in fourteen 12-ounce cans of soda. Some studies suggest that toxicity can occur in as little as 200-400 milligrams of caffeine in the system.

While the Anais’ family is currently seeking damages for the injuries their daughter suffered before her death and also the damages they have suffered as a result of her death, Anais’ mother mostly wants to raise awareness of the danger of these drinks.

FDA Investigating Energy Drinks

The FDA is currently investigating reports that Monster energy drinks have caused five deaths and a non-fatal heart attack and has been asked by Senators Dick Durbin of Illinois and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut to investigate the effects of caffeine consumption on adolescents and teens. Reports of problems stemming from energy drink consumption go back to 2004 and the state of New York is also investigating the energy drink industry.

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