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Energy Drink Slammed with Wrongful Death Suit

Energy Drink Slammed with Wrongful Death Suit

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Energy Drinks and wrongful deathMother sues Monster Energy drinks for death of son in a wrongful death suit

According to recent reports, energy drinks are consumed by 30% to 50% of adolescents. Some teens admit to drinking more than one can of the drinks in a day. However, experts warn that regular consumption of energy drinks may cause heart issues in teens and even death.

Such was the case when Oakland native Alex Morris succumbed to cardiac arrhythmia after he consumed a can of Monster Energy drink. He was pronounced dead at Kaiser Permananente Hospital in North California on July 1st, 2012. Twenty-four hours before his death, Morris is reported to have consumed at least two 16 ounce cans of his favorite drink; a drink that is claimed by the manufacturer to provide customers with “increased energy and stamina, weight loss, and enhanced physical and/or mental performance.”

Morris was a big fan of the Monster Energy drinks since the age of sixteen and drank from two to three cans every day. His mother, Paula Morris sued the Monster Beverage Corporation. According to Morris’s filing quotes, “In order to provide the marketed benefits, Monster Energy contains and relies primarily on massive amounts of caffeine, a substance known for imposing adverse health effects upon consumers.” She cites medical claims that ingredients like taurine and guarana can lead to serious health problems when combined with caffeine. Moreover, it was also cited that the energy drink provider increases the risk of caffeine overdose since the labeling on its cans is inadequate and “does nothing to attempt to warn of these severe health risks.”

Alex’s mother asserted (1) strict products liability (design defect), (2) strict products liability (failure to warn), (3) negligence (design, sale, manufacturing), (4) negligence (failure to warn), (5) fraudulent concealment, (6) breach of implied warranties, and (7) wrongful death. The Morris case is one of more than a dozen filed against the Monster Beverage Corporation in which there are similar medical claims of collapse or death after drinking the caffeine-laden drinks. As of the time of this blog, the Morris case has not gone to trial. Monster Beverage Corporation has settled some the claims against it. The drinks are particularly hazardous to teenagers.

According to the FDA, soda manufacturers are not allowed to have more than 71mg per twelve ounces. However, energy drink companies like Monster are not subject to such regulations and hence do not feel obligated to label the caffeine content in their beverages.

The case mimics a similar one in 2011 when 33-year-old Brooklyn native Cory Terry died of a fatal heart attack 45 minutes before he drank the energy drink, Red Bull. According to a statement by his grandmother Patricia Terry, “He drank the stuff all the time. He said it perked him up.” An $85 million wrongful death suit was filed against Red Bull in 2013 in which lawyer Ilya Novofastovsky says that the company’s beverages contain “extra stimulants that make it different than a cup of coffee.” She further adds that those additions are “more dangerous than what Red Bull lets on.” The case is believed to be the first wrongful death suit against the brand.

Med League provides Medical expert witness who is experienced in handling and reviewing wrongful death lawsuits involving defective products, medical malpractice and other types of claims.  Contact us for your case.

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