Girardi | Keese

Recent lawsuit highlights energy drink dangers

There has been no new news regarding the recent lawsuit against Monster Beverage Corp., makers of the widely popular energy drinks Monster. With five deaths already attributed to the use of energy drinks this year, concerned parents across California and the nation wonder if this new lawsuit will redefine the way energy drink manufacturers are allowed to market their products to consumers.

According to the lawsuit, parents of the late Anais Fournier, who died in 2011, are suing Monster Beverage Corp. for inadequately warning consumers of the potentially serious health risks of their products.

Anais Fournier, as many Californians may remember, went into cardiac arrest only a few hours after consuming her second Monster energy drink in a 24-hour period. At the hospital, doctors were forced to put her into a forced coma to prevent swelling in her brain. But when she didn't regain consciousness eight days later, doctors ultimately pulled the plug on her life support.

It wasn't until after the autopsy was performed that her parents discovered that she had died of "caffeine toxicity." Doctors point out that a lethal dose of caffeine ranges from 200 to 400 milligrams. The autopsy report indicated that the two cans of Monster the girl had consumed would have given her roughly 480 milligrams of caffeine; combined with her already existing heart condition, this caused her heart to go into cardiac arrhythmia which led to her death.

The lawsuit issued by the teenager's parents intends to prove that Monster Beverage "has successfully avoided meaningful regulation of its product by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration." Lawyers point out that by classifying their product as a "dietary supplement," Monster avoids caffeine restrictions established by the FDA, effectively making their product incredibly dangerous to consumers.

Source: Courthouse News Service, "Monster Caffeine Drink Killed Daughter, Parents Say," Kevin Koeninger, Oct. 22, 2012

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