The lawsuits - four in number - were filed February 8 in the Superior Court of California, Riverside County.
Monster Beverage Corp. is but one of a number of energy drink manufacturers to face lawsuits. In Monster’s case, the caffeine content has come under fire, given that caffeine levels are higher in energy drinks compared with similar volumes of soft drinks, which are regulated as a food by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Energy drinks have been historically classified as dietary supplements and as such carry a looser framework for product labeling. Inclusion of content and ingredient levels on product labels has been voluntary for manufacturers of diet supplements.
Caffeine, in its purest form and in large amounts, can cause cardiac arrest. In smaller amounts, such as levels found in most products such as coffee, soft drinks and even chocolate, caffeine can lift energy levels. Energy drinks take this one step further, by increasing the levels of caffeine in order to provide an added boost of energy. While energy drink manufacturers such as Monster claim that monster caffeine levels are not much higher than that found in a good strong cup of coffee, pundits observe that coffee is meant to be sipped as a hot beverage.
Many consumers of energy drinks, on the other hand, guzzle their drinks: “throwing them back” or “pounding them down,” for an instant and intense hit of caffeine in one swoop. Various energy drinks also contain natural herbs and ingredients that mimic the effects of caffeine. When combined with actual caffeine, this stimulation can be unhealthful or even dangerous for some individuals, or so it is alleged.
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The most recent lawsuits are James Thompson v. Monster Beverage Corporation, Monster Energy Company, and Does 1-100, Inclusive, Case No. RIC 1601533; Robert Grim v. Monster Beverage Corporation, Monster Energy Company, and Does 1-100, Inclusive, Case No. RIC 1601523; Joel Rine v. Monster Beverage Corporation, Monster Energy Company, and Does 1-100, Inclusive, Case No. RIC 1601526; and John E. Staten v. Monster Beverage Corporation, Monster Energy Company, and Does 1-100, Inclusive, Case No. RIC 1601581.