New FDA Probe and Wrongful Death Action Confirm Emerging Liabilties Relating to Energy Drinks

I always hate to say “I told you so” but what did I tell you?  Left Coast Law predicted just a few weeks ago (here), that there will be a number of new California lawsuits relating to energy drinks being consumed by kids (including a few of my own–you know who you are and your Mom and I are onto you). 

What better place to file a lawsuit than California?  As reported by Reuters yesterday, the FDA has launched a new investigation stemming from five separate deaths and last Friday a lawsuit was filed in Riverside Superior Court.

The family of Anais Fournier sued Monster on Friday for failing to warn about the product’s dangers.

The lawsuit, filed in California Superior Court in Riverside, said that after drinking two 24-ounce cans of Monster Energy on consecutive days Fournier went into cardiac arrest. She was placed in an induced coma and died six days later on December 23, 2011.

The lawsuit said Fournier died from “cardiac arrhythmia due to caffeine toxicity” that complicated an existing heart valve condition related to a disorder called Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.

The two drinks together contained 480 milligrams of caffeine, the equivalent of 14 12-ounce cans of Coca-Cola, according to the lawsuit.

This is the tip of the iceberg.  There will be a number of “pile on” class action lawsuits that will not only name the manufacturers of these drinks but every party in the distribution chain, including retailers, recretional facilities, schools, vending machine operators, etc.  The tobacco litigation of the 20th Century is the blueprint for this type of litigation. 


There is no time like the present to assess your vulnerability and whether your contractual indemnity rights are adequately protected.  See also suggestions in prior post.