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Two Monster Energy Lawsuits Reportedly Settled

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San Francisco, CAAs The Coca-Cola Company takes a stake in Monster Beverage Corp., reports have come out that two recent Monster Energy drink lawsuits resulted in confidential settlements. These are in addition to one settlement from 2014. Another two Monster Energy lawsuits are pending. Wrongful death and product liability lawsuits have been filed against Monster Beverage Corp., alleging consumers were harmed by the use of the highly caffeinated drinks.

The Wall Street Journal (5/26/15) reports that two wrongful death lawsuits filed against Monster Beverage Corp. were settled in April. Both were filed by the families of men who died after allegedly drinking the company’s energy drink.

Alex Morris’s family claimed he died at age 19 after drinking two cans of Monster Energy daily for three years. The coroner ruled his death was caused by cardiac arrhythmia and cardiomyopathy. The plaintiffs in that lawsuit claimed Monster did not properly warn consumers about the true risks associated with the drinks. No details about the settlement have been made public.

The family of Shane Felts also alleged that he died as a result of ingesting a Monster Energy drink. His wife, Heather, alleged he drank at least one energy drink every day for two weeks before he died. Felts reportedly had 240 milligrams of caffeine in his system when he died. The lawsuit alleges that doses above 200 milligrams are potentially fatal. The Felts lawsuit was also reportedly settled, though terms of the settlement have not been released.

In both cases, and in response to other lawsuits, Monster Beverage Corp. has maintained its products are safe for consumption and the lawsuits lack merit.

That may be tested in August, when the family of 14-year-old Anais Fournier gets their day in court. Fournier died of cardiac arrest, allegedly after drinking two cans within 24 hours.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the FDA has approximately 300 adverse event reports linked to energy drinks since 2004. A study published online in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology (3/26/15) found that energy drinks could potentially trigger sudden cardiac deaths in adolescents and young adults, even those who have no apparent health problems.

Researchers found approximately 30 percent of adolescents between the ages of 12 and 19 regularly consume energy drinks. They warned that although one can of energy drink per day is generally safe for healthy adolescents, young consumers should be careful not to drink too much, not to ingest the drinks before or during sports, and not to combine them with alcohol or other drugs.

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