Monster Beverage Corp. is facing new lawsuits whose plaintiffs allege that consumption of the company’s energy drinks resulted in serious injuries.
In a press release issued yesterday, Morgan & Morgan, which describes itself as one of the “largest national consumer protection law ﬁrms in the country,” states that it has filed lawsuits on behalf of five plaintiffs and is investigating claims from over 100 other people.
Monster responded with a release of its own, calling one of the lawsuits “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, and Monster will vigorously defend it,” the company states. “As the case progresses, it will likely be revealed that [the plaintiff] suffered from preexisting health conditions that caused his injuries—completely unrelated to consumption of a Monster Energy drink.”
Morgan & Morgan claims that because Monster was classiﬁed as a dietary supplement prior to 2013, “the company was able to avoid meaningful regulation by the [U.S. Food and Drug Administration] and labels did not provide plaintiﬀs with important knowledge about the amount of caﬀeine in each oversized can in order for them to make an informed decision before consumption.”
The law firm states that injuries claimed include heart attacks, strokes, brain damage and kidney failure.
“At the time of their injuries, the plaintiﬀs ranged in age from 14 to 42 and did not have any signiﬁcant prior health issues,” the press release reads.
The release states that attorneys from Morgan & Morgan are currently working with Kevin Goldberg, who represented the family of Anais Fournier, a 14 year-old girl who in 2011 died of cardiac arrest, to investigate claims for more than 100 people who have suﬀered signiﬁcant injuries after consuming energy drinks. Fournier’s family alleged that Anais’ consumption of two 24 oz. cans of Monster Energy contributed to her death.
Although Monster reclassified its products as beverages in 2014 and uses ingredients that are GRAS (Generally Regarded as Safe), Morgan & Morgan alleges that the changes “do not indicate that Monster’s formula has been properly tested as a mixture, and there has been continued reluctance on part of the company to conduct this research.”
In its release, Monster notes that in 2012, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration stated that it “has yet to identify any safety studies that call into question the safety of combinations of various ingredients added to ‘energy drinks’ under intended conditions of use.”
Monster claims that “14 billion Monster Energy drinks have been sold and safely consumed worldwide for more than 13 years.” However, a legal news website called LawyersandSettlements.com last year reported that Monster has settled several wrongful death lawsuits, including one that came with a payout of “substantial dollars.”