By Mark Favaloro
The Food and Drug Administration recently announced that the agency launched an investigation concerning five deaths and one non-fatal heart attack linked to consumption of the Monster Energy Drink. The Monster Energy Drink is a heavily caffeinated soda that has grown in popularity in recent years, especially among young teens.
Reports indicate that several people suffered adverse reactions after consuming the drink which contains a whopping 240 milligrams of caffeine. To put that number into some perspective, one Monster Energy Drink contains about seven times the caffeine in a typical 12-ounce can of soda.
The FDA issued a statement saying that it was taking the reports of death seriously and will begin a thorough investigation to determine if any action should be taken. Although the FDA caps the amount of caffeine in soda at 0.02 percent, there is no such limit for energy drinks, something that may need to change in the future. Though a response from the regulatory agency is a good thing, the timing leaves something to be desired as reports first surfaced back in 2004. The agency says so far there’s no proof that the drinks directly caused the deaths or injuries.
The FDA’s announcement follows quickly on the heels of a report that a wrongful death suit was filed in California by parents of a 14-year-old girl who died after consuming two cans of the Monster Energy Drink in less than 24 hours. The child’s parents argue that the soft drink company failed to properly warn consumers about the dangers associated with consuming its products.
An autopsy was conducted on the girl soon after her death which revealed that she died of cardiac arrhythmia due to caffeine toxicity. However, the medical examiner also announced that the girl had an inherited disorder that can cause weakened blood vessels.
For its part, Monster Beverage Corporation, says that it puts labels on its cans stating the drinks are not recommended for children and people who are sensitive to caffeine.
The Virginia Personal Injury Lawyer’s Perspective:
Though caffeine may not be a prescription medication, there’s no doubt that that such high levels can cause very real harm. It’s welcome news that the FDA has finally decided to look into reports of harm associated with Monster Energy Drink, but as experienced Virginia personal injury attorneys we feel the investigation is long overdue. Seemingly harmless ingredients in products we use and consume every day can cause great harm given the right set f circumstances. If you’ve been injured by a dangerous product, you may be able to hold the company that manufactured the product accountable by filing a claim for compensation.
We maintain a library of attorneys’ answers to frequently asked questions regarding defective or dangerous drugs.
About the Editors: Virginia personal injury lawyers with the Shapiro, Lewis & Appleton law firm only handle injury and accident law cases. We have experience handling car, truck, motorcycle, van and SUV accident claims, and our case results speak for themselves. Rick Shapiro and James Lewis have been listed among the Best Lawyers in America since 2008. They, along with fellow attorney Randy Appleton, have also been named Virginia Super Lawyers since 2010, an honor fewer than 5 percent of outstanding attorneys receive. Our primary office is in Virginia Beach, but we often represent clients in Portsmouth, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Suffolk, Richmond and throughout the Commonwealth.