Anais Fournier was only 14 years old when she suffered a fatal cardiac arrest after drinking two Monster energy drinks. Her parents are suing Monster Energy for their child’s wrongful death. So far the Food and Drug Administration reports five deaths and at least one heart attack associated with the energy drinks. Monster denied causing the girl’s death and claims Anais died from natural causes.
Yesterday, City of San Francisco Attorney Dennis Herrera, filed lawsuit on behalf of the City against Monster in an attempt to prevent it from marketing their products to children. I anticipate that these cases are just the beginning of many children’s personal injury claims against companies like Monster, Red Bull and 5-Hour Energy Shots.
Many people feel that drinking a Monster or Red Bull is less dangerous than drinking an expresso or a cup of coffee. Sadly, this ignores the fact that people sip coffee and children tend to guzzle energy drinks.
There now appears to be overwhelming evidence that caffeinated energy drinks are associate with health problems such as cardiac events. Recently, Pediatrics in Review published an opinon by Dr. Kwabena Blankson, a specialist in adolescent medicine at the Naval Medical Center in Virginia warning that the caffeine levels in energy drinks when mixed with artificial ingredients is a dangerous product for teens to consume. Instead he suggests that parents recommend teens to entirely stop consuming these drinks and find better and more natural ways to increase energy like exercise, nutrition, and more sleep.
RED BULL AND VODKA
Mixing Red Bull and Vodka, also known as a Vod-Bomb or Russian Bull is an alcoholic drink made from Red Bull and varying amounts of Vodka. It is one of the most popular drinks for teens in bars, nightclubs and parties around the world. The amount of Red Bull to Vodka varies but the Red Bull is used to mask both the taste and influence of the alcohol.
Sugar and caffeine mute the depressant effects of alcohol. Accordingly, people who mix alcohol with an energy drink are more likely to binge drink, more susceptible to sexual assault and to driving while intoxicated.
As a member of the Attorney Breakfast Club, I hope that Florida’s Legislature will immediately take action to illegalize the sale of energy drinks to people under 18 years of age. And, while the FDA slowly investigates the increasing number of reported illness, injury and death associated with energy drinks, Florida’s Department of Health needs to implement a program to warn both parents and children about the risk.