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Lawsuit: Did an Energy Drink Kill a 14-Year Old?

A lawsuit filed last year by the parents of a 14-year old girl after she went into cardiac arrest after drinking two cans of Monster, a high energy drink, has no weight because Monster Beverage company said that no blood test was performed.

Monster Beverage Corp. claims its beverages did not cause the death of the girl who drank two 24-oz. cans in a 24-hour period. She instead died of natural causes tied to her pre-existing heart condition, the company's lawyer said. Monster Beverage is claiming that no blood test was performed to confirm that the girl died of caffeine toxicity.

The disclosures come amid intensifying scrutiny of energy drinks and their caffeine levels. According to the FDA, they have been investigating other reports of energy drink-related deaths. Five of those deaths allegedly were caused by Monster drinks. While there is no information that would indicate the drinks caused the deaths, they are still looking into it.

The lawyer representing Monster said that the company hired physicians to look into this case further. After their review, the physicians seem to think that the girl died because she had preexisting heart conditions. Not only this, but the team of physicians found no link between caffeine toxicity and her death.

A statement from Maryland’s chief medical examiner did not indicate whether or not a blood test was conducted specifically to test for caffeine levels. The statement did, however, link the girl’s death to caffeine toxicity in conjunction wither Ehler’s-Danlos syndrome- her preexisting heart condition.

The attorneys for the family said the labeling on Monster drinks was misleading. He said the labeling was "ambiguous and intentionally misleading.” Monster is known for labeling and advertisements that are marketed toward teenagers and young adults. Monster says that regardless of their target market, their drinks are safe for all ages.

This case will prove a difficult fight for the plaintiffs/family. They will need to prove that the energy drink directly led to the death of the young girl and that her prior, pre-existing heart condition was not a substantial factor in her death. Of course, plaintiffs will need to retain experts to testify that the girls' death was caused by the ingredients present in the beverage and that those ingredients were unsafe for children such as the deceased child. Although we agree that these unhealthy energy drinks should bit be marketed to underage children, our firm's opinion of this case from a legal perspective is that it will be a highly difficult battle.

Categories: Product Liability


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The Law Firm of Steven I. Fried, P.C. - Bronx Personal Injury Attorney
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