Monster Beverage Sued for Marketing to Kids

May 14, 2013

monster-energy-original-flavors-plus-absolute-zero_l.jpgEnergy drink lawyers at Pintas & Mullins announce that Monster Beverage is facing a lawsuit alleging the company marketed its unsafe drinks to children. The plaintiff claims that Monster is the energy drink industry's worst offender in targeting American youth.

Just a week ago, in late April 2013, Monster sued the same plaintiff over his demands that it reduce caffeine levels in its drinks and stop marketing to minors. The plaintiff asserts that his lawsuit is not a reaction to Monster's - he has been proceeding on this path toward litigation, expecting that Monster would not accept his demands voluntarily.

The plaintiff first started investigating energy drinks in October 2012, including such companies as Red Bull, 5-Hour-Energy, and Rockstar, which have all enjoyed enormous growth in the past decade or so. With this growth, however, energy drink companies have also come under intense fire for their seemingly superfluous use of caffeine and other harmful ingredients.

Legislators all over the country, including New York's attorney general and Illinois Senator Richard Durbin, recently called on both Monster and the FDA to look into and reveal how the drinks are made and marketed and their effects on children and young adults. These requests were undoubtedly influenced by the death of a 14-year-old girl in Maryland. The girl died of cardiac arrest after consuming two 24-ounce cans of Monster within 24 hours.

Over the last four years, ER visits from energy drinks have more than doubled, from 10,000 in 2007 to over 20,000 in 2011. After five deaths and one heart attack were reported due to Monster Beverages alone, the company is now facing a class-action lawsuit. The suit claims that Monster knowingly marketed, advertised and sold the drink (particularly to minors) despite its toxic mix of ingredients.

Plaintiffs are citing the company's "Monster Army" website, which promotes the brand using minors as young as six years old. The company also sponsors youth sports tournaments throughout the country. Additionally, the most recent plaintiff claims in his suit that Monstor promotes the excessive consumption of its beverages by using phrases like "pound down" and "chug."

Monster energy drink labels state that consumers should drink no more than three 16-ounce cans per day. This amount, however, is nearly five times the maximum daily caffeine limit for children, according to the FDA. This is dangerous because energy drinks, to some children, may seem like just a can of soda. While soda itself has toxic chemicals in the ingredients, none of them pose the immediate health risk such large amounts of caffeine do.

Of course, caffeine is not the only hazardous ingredient in Monster beverages. The main ingredient, epigallocatechin-3-gallate, is associated with liver injuries among other serious adverse side effects. They also contain copious amounts of sugar, carnitine, taurine, and guarana, which can also have devastating health effects, especially in teens and young adults.

One of the most recent studies published in the U.S. regarding adverse energy drink effects was by the American Heart Association. The study revealed that energy drinks may increase blood pressure and change the heart's rhythm.

Researchers studied healthy participants between ages 18 and 45, monitoring their QT intervals (time for electric activation and inactivation in the lower chambers of the heart) after drinking one to three cans of energy drinks. The QT intervals for these participants were 10 milliseconds longer than in the control subjects. Long intervals like this can cause serious irregularities in heart rhythms and even lead to sudden cardiac death in vulnerable consumers.

Energy drink lawyers at Pintas & Mullins warn Americans of these most recent developments in research and litigation surrounding the safety risks of energy drink consumption. If you or a loved one was seriously injured by an energy drink, or any other toxic substance, you may be entitled to significant compensation for any medical bills and pain and suffering through an energy drink lawsuit.