Consumer Products

‘Monster’ Energy Drink Lawsuit Filed after Consumer’s Death

A lawsuit has been filed following the death of a consumer who drank numerous energy drinks in the days leading up to his death. The lawsuit, filed by the man’s wife, alleges energy drinks are falsely marketed as safe when in fact they are dangerous. According to some reports, the FDA has received numerous reports of deaths linked to certain energy drinks.

The lawsuit, Felts v. Monster Beverage Corporation, et al, alleges Monster Energy Extra Strength with Nitrous Technology is not safe for consumers because “it contains excessive amounts of caffeine, lacks sufficient information in its labeling, and fails to warn about a variety of alleged health risks.” The lawsuit alleges the drink was defectively designed, negligently manufactured and violates the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act.

According to a report by NBC News (7/9/14), Shane Felts died in June 2012. For the two weeks prior to his death, Shane had ingested at least one energy drink every day.

Fox News (7/11/14) reports that the drink Shane consumed had 240 milligrams of caffeine. According to the Felts’ lawsuit, consuming caffeine in doses above 200 milligrams can be fatal. High doses of caffeine are also reportedly linked to heart problems and seizures.

Because the drinks are considered supplements, however, the FDA has no control over the amount of caffeine in them, unlike in soda. Energy drinks are popular, with some reports that they make around $10 billion annually.

Other lawsuits have been filed against energy drink makers, including lawsuits involving teenagers who died. One such lawsuit was filed by the family of Alex Morris, who died at age 19 after consuming two cans of energy drink every day for three years before he died.

The Felts lawsuit is Felts v. Monster Beverage Corporation, et al, Case Number 4:14-cv-00758, in the Western District of Missouri.

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