Energy drinks have long been thought of as unhealthy and potentially dangerous, but a new lawsuit filed by Morgan and Morgan today in Orlando, Florida, claim that they can be deadly as well ABC Actions News reports. Monster Energy Drinks is the main target in a series of lawsuits filed by the law firm, which states that the fruit-flavored beverages are causing heart attacks and kidney failure.
“It just seems too much to ignore. That there’s one common thread that keeps coming up over and over. It’s these energy drinks,” said attorney Mike Morgan who also suggested that there will be “dozens” of other lawsuits coming down the pike as well aimed at Rockstar, Red Bull, and 5-Hour Energy Drinks.
Morgan and Morgan have also created a website, EnergyDrinksLawsuit.com, with consumer information about the products in question, where they state the following.
“Energy drink companies are doing everything in their power to convince us their products are safe. In reality, the overconsumption of energy drinks has led to heart attacks, strokes and even death.” The site also lists some sobering facts about Monster and other drinks including:
• 145 adverse event related to energy drinks were filed with the FDA between 2004 and 2012 with 17 of them listing “death” as the final outcome.
• Emergency room visits related to energy drinks rose from 10,068 in 2007 to 20, 7883 in 2011.
• The Journal of American Medical Association found that by drinking just one energy drink increases blood pressure and stress hormones to unhealthy levels in just 30 minutes.”
One of the key events with this case that is the allegation made that one of the plaintiffs in the case suffered a stroke after consuming five or six Monster drinks a day for five years, a claim that Monster Energy says is bogus. The company says that the plaintiff had preexisting health conditions that were unrelated to Monster which led to the stroke. In addition, Monster Energy says that the lawsuit is a “copy-cat case filed by personal injury lawyers…trying to make a cottage industry out of suing energy drink companies. There is no merit in the case whatsoever.”
The lawsuit also claims that two 16-ounce cans of Monster Energy Drinks contain what they consider a “lethal dose” of caffeine. Again, Monster Energy denies that, stating that the caffeine in on 16-ounce can of their beverage is equivalent to a medium Starbucks coffee. But that isn’t really isn’t the same thing as saying that the drink is safe to drink.
“They’ve had no motivation to do any testing to further decide whether or not these products are actually safe,” said Andrew Felix. “And that lack of motivation stems from a very simple rationale: They are making too much money.”
The fact that an adult man would consume five energy drinks a day and suffered from isn’t so shocking given the fact that medical advice about energy drinks is so readily available, but what irks Morgan and Morgan the most is Monster’s supposed marketing to children. The lawyers say that there are not proper warnings or full disclosure of possible side effects listed on the cans.
“If the consumer can make a knowledgeable choice, that’s OK. That’s on them. But when you hide information and you don’t disclose information, that’s on the company to do something,” said Mike Morgan.
On the lawsuit website they say teens are “encouraged by aggressive marketing to ‘pound down’ and ‘drink it in seconds,’ America’s youth is consuming energy drinks at an alarming – and fatal – rate.” They also compare the beverages to cigarettes.
“Energy drink companies have taken a page out of Big Tobacco’s advertising book and are selling products that endanger lives by selling the idea that drinking them makes us cool. They use athletes as spokespeople to target our egos and sell us a lifestyle.”
[Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]