Monster appears to favor settlements over allowing a full trial to run its course. It will be interesting to see what transpires in August.
Meantime, there have been other significant developments on the Monster Energy front that don’t necessarily focus on the Monster drink contents, but rather on the corporate side of the ledger. The month of June, in fact - just two months after settling two lawsuits - was pivotal for the corporation.
The recent high-profile dispute between Monster and the iconic rap group The Beastie Boys over the allegedly unauthorized use of one of their songs in an advertising campaign for Monster drink contents resulted in an earlier jury verdict in favor of the Beastie Boys for $1.7 million. The group also moved to recover legal fees from the corporation, and last month was awarded $668,000. According to The Associated Press (AP 6/17/15), the plaintiffs were looking for much more than that. However, the judge involved in the case reduced the legal fees eligible for compensation.
The Beastie Boys had been seeking $2.4 million in compensation from Monster for their legal bills. The judge in the case - US District Judge Paul Engelmayer - likened the Beastie Boys’ legal representation to a Cadillac Escalade, rather than that of a Honda Civic. The judge noted that even with the approval for reduced legal fees, the band would still come out ahead.
The band won its copyright case against Monster last June. “Presiding over trial and hearing the surviving Beastie Boys’ testimony, it was apparent to the court that this case had great personal significance to them,” Engelmayer said. “Monster’s commercial exploitation of the band’s music and songs, and what the Beastie Boys perceived as Monster’s crass misappropriation of the name of the recently deceased [Adam ‘MCA’ Yauch] in its video promoting its energy drinks, appeared to have deeply offended plaintiffs.”
Yauch died of cancer in May 2012 at age 47.
Energy drinks have become a bastion of the teen and young adult for several years now.
But their safety has been called into question.
Proponents of the energy drinks such as those manufactured by Monster suggest that Monster caffeine levels are no higher than that found in an average cup of coffee. However, health advocates note that other ingredients in some formulations of the energy drink mimic the effects of caffeine and, when combined with actual caffeine, affords stimulation that may be beyond the safety limits of some individuals. Health advocates also note that coffee, served hot, is meant to be sipped slowly, whereas adolescents have been known to guzzle energy drinks for the rush that such consumption provides.
Multiply that behavior through the consumption of several energy drinks in quick succession, and a consumer could suddenly be risking Monster Energy Drink injury.
READ MORE MONSTER ENERGY DRINK INJURY LEGAL NEWS
According to the Albany Business Review (6/16/15), Monster transfers all of its non-energy drink business and brands to Coca-Cola - including Hansen’s Natural Sodas, Peace Tea, Hubert’s Lemonade, and Hansen’s Juice Products, while Coca-Cola transfers all of its energy drink business to Monster. Those brands include NOS, Full Throttle, Burn, Mother, BU, Gladiator, Samurai, Nalu, BPM, Play and Power Play, Ultra, and Relentless.
It is not known what role the partnership deal, completed last month and giving Coca-Cola a 16.7 percent stake in Monster, will have on the Anais Fournier trial coming up in August.