Monster Beverage Lawsuit: Energy Drink Defends Against Lawsuit; Is Monster Responsible For 14-Year-Old’s Death?

By Philip Ross on March 5, 2013 5:01 PM EST

Monster
The family of 14-year-old Anais Fournier is suing the company that makes the popular Monster Energy Drink, alleging that Anais died after drinking two 24 ounce cans of Monster within 24 hours. Monster is now striking back. (Photo: Monster)

Monster Beverage Corporation has been stiff-arming accusations that its energy drink is responsible for the death of a 14-year-old Maryland girl back in December of 2011. And just yesterday, the company struck back with some findings of its own.

Monster has released the results of an investigation it spearheaded into the cause of 14-year-old Anais Fournier's death, whose autopsy report  listed the reason as "cardiac arrhythmia due to caffeine toxicity", believed to be the result of her consuming Monster Energy drinks. Monster hired a group of physicians, including a cardiac pathologist, a cardiac electrophysiologist, an emergency room physician and a coroner to examine Fournier's medical records.

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According to Fournier's parents, the 14-year-old had consumed two 24-ounce Monster Energy drinks in two days prior to her death. After the second drink, Fournier's heart stopped. She died six days later on Christmas Eve.   

Fournier's parents filed a wrongful death suit against Monster in October of 2012, alleging that their popular drink, the US's top-selling energy drink, killed their daughter. The lawsuit claims that the Monster Energy drink is dangerous, and highlights the fact that the company does not disclose the amount of caffeine it contains.

Monster has responded in the past, saying that it does not believe its products are in any way responsible for the death of Ms. Fournier.

One of Monster's lawyers, Daniel Callahan, said of the company's recent investigation: "After an examination of Ms. Fournier's medical records, pathology report and autopsy report, the physicians stated conclusively that there is no medical, scientific or factual evidence to support the Maryland Medical Examiner's Report of 'caffeine toxicity'." The examination also noted that Fournier had been receiving treatment for a heart condition since childhood.

Callahan goes on to state that "No caffeine blood level test was performed to determine if any caffeine had been ingested." He also says that Monster is very sorry for the family's loss, "but the facts do not support placing the blame of Ms. Fournier's untimely passing on Monster beverages."

Today, more than 5 million Monster energy drinks are sold and consumed every day in 90 countries. Because energy drinks are considered nutritional supplements, they are not regulated as food, meaning that they may exceed the FDA-mandated limit of 71 milligrams of caffeine for a 12-ounce soda. In comparison, an eight-ounce cup of coffee contains between 100 to 150 milligrams of caffeine. A 24-ounce can of Monster Energy contains 240 milligrams of caffeine, less than a 12-ounce cup of Starbucks brewed coffee, which contains about 260 milligrams.

The Food and Drug Administration is also investigating a number of reports of deaths linked to energy drinks, including five that cite Monster's.

The mother of Fournier, Wendy Crossland, will appear today before the City Council Committee on Health and Environmental Protection in Chicago when it considers a proposal to restrict the sale of energy drinks within city limits.

© 2012 iScience Times All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

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