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Monster Energy drinks spark wrongful death suit

In today's fast-paced world, sleep and relaxation time have become a luxury. To get through grueling work and school schedules, many have turned to energy drinks and supplements, including the popular Monster Energy drinks. The company has recently been criticized, however, for its marketing tactics and has been accused of creating an unsafe product.

In October 2013, the parents of a 14-year-old girl filed a wrongful death suit against Monster Beverage Corp., alleging that the girl collapsed after drinking two 24-ounce Monster Energy drinks over the course of two days. She passed away six days later.

Critics of the company believe that Monster Beverage Corp. is irresponsibly marketing its product to minors and that the drinks are not safe. Two attorneys from opposite ends of the country are now investigating to see whether the company is purposefully marketing the caffeine drinks to children.

According to the Associated Press, one of the lawyers has filed a suit against Monster, saying that the company is intentionally misbranding and that the drinks are a health risk. Monster countered by filing a suit to stop the investigation, but a federal judge disagreed and threw the case out.

Representatives of Monster have maintained that the drinks do not contain large amounts of caffeine and do not pose a health risk. According to a spokeswoman, a 16-once Monster Energy drink contains less caffeine than a 16-ounce cup of coffee. She also denied that the drinks are being marketed to children or nursing and pregnant mothers.

There have been other reports of deaths being caused by the drinks, and the Food and Drug Administration is investigating those instances. At this time, it has not yet found solid evidence to tie the drinks to the deaths, and Monster maintains that it has no knowledge of deaths related to its products.

It is possible as these investigations continue that more wrongful death suits will be filed. Companies are responsible for their marketing practices and general safety of their products, and when they fail to uphold that responsibility, legal action to seek damages may be an option for those affected.

Source: University Herald, "Monster Drinks Under Scrutiny Over Claims It Markets Highly Caffeinated Beverages To Children" Jaleesa Baulkman, Jan. 15, 2014

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