Earlier this week the the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) opened an official investigation into multiple deaths associated with Monster Beverage, the incredibly popular energy drink. In the last three years, at least five people have allegedly died after ingesting the controversial, highly caffeinated energy drinks.
The FDA investigation may be the least of the California based drink makers problems.
LAWSUITS PENDING AFTER ENERGY DRINK TAKES LIFE OF 14-YEAR OLD GIRL
A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed on behalf of a 14-year old who lost her life two days before Christmas, 2011. The Maryland girl allegedly drank two cans of Monster Energy on two consecutive days: On December 17th, she suffered cardiac arrest, never regained consciousness and two days before Christmas was pronounced dead. The lawsuit, filed in California’s Riverside County Superior Court, claims the 14-year old died from irregular heartbeat triggered by the toxicity levels of caffeine in the Monster energy drink.
THIS IS NOT THE FIRST ENERGY DRINK RELATED FATALITY/INJURY
In an eight year span between 2004 and 2012, the FDA reported at least six other fatalities and 18 emergency room visits that have been allegedly linked to Monster Energy drinks. These are only the cases stemming from this one manufacturer. Many of these cases do go unreported, so the numbers may be much higher. While some of the pending lawsuits claim wrongful death negligence against the energy drink manufacturers, others claim product liability for not adequately warning consumers about the health risks.
ENERGY DRINK CAFFEINE LEVELS ARE ASTRONOMICAL
Energy drinks, as they are marketed, are supposed to provide a healthy jolt of energy. Many professionals – physicians, lawyers, public officials, consumer advocates – think that the caffeine levels in some energy drinks are obscenely high, and unhealthy. To put these levels into perspective, the FDA limits the amount of allowable caffeine per 12-oz. soda to 71.5 milligrams. The two energy drinks the girl consumed contained 480 milligrams of caffeine, which would be the equivalent of drinking 14 cans of cola.
The multi-billion dollar energy market has even moved from the drink aisle to the candy/gum aisle. Now chewing gum packed with 40-milligrams of caffeine are available for consumers of all ages. Just one stick of this gum is equal to an entire cup of java. By combining caffeine with “candy”, makers of the gum are attractign a whole new clientele – children.
SYMPTOMS/SIDE EFFECTS OF CAFFEINE INTAKE
The pending wrongful death or negligence lawsuits against the energy drink manufacturers all started with a consumer experiencing some form of violent reaction or side effect to caffeine. According to published reports, nearly ½ of all American adolescents and young adults consume some form of energy drink. These beverages can contain incredibly high, mostly unregulated levels of caffeine, the drinks have been connected to serious side effects including:
- cardiac arrest
- cardiac anomalies
- allergic reactions
- difficulty breathing
- facial swelling
- digestion tract issues
- epileptic events
- mood changes
If you or a loved one experiences any problematic reactions to caffeinated energy drinks, cease the consumption of the drink immediately and consider seeing a physician.