It’s a Monster! – Law Offices of Aronberg, Aronberg & Green

Oct. 26th, 2012   /   ,

It’s a Monster! – Law Offices of Aronberg, Aronberg & Green

 

When we think of monsters, typically we think of fictional creations invented for the purpose of scaring us—and with Halloween just around the corner, monsters are popping up all over the place. But there is a monster that’s been lurking in grocery store aisles and refrigerators for years: Monster energy drinks. This week, some startling revelations about the increasingly popular drink have people taking a second look at the irony of the name. In this blog we’re going to discuss a certain monstrous product liability issue and give you some in-depth info on the personal injury subfield of product liability law.

It was announced this week that the Federal Department of Agriculture (the FDA) has linked five deaths to the popular Monster Energy Drink and has named the drink as the cause of another non-fatal heart attack. The drink, filled to the brim with caffeine and sugar, is one in a line of energy drinks that have become popular alternatives to coffee over the last year—another popular alternative is Red Bull which has faced international tension for similar reasons.  Monster Energy Drinks come in 24 oz. cans and contain 240 milligrams of caffeine. The amount of caffeine packed into the energy drink is more than 7 times the average amount of caffeine found in a typical can of soda. In addition to the caffeine in the Monster drinks, the sugar therein amounts to about 13 tablespoons (or over 50g), well over your daily-recommended dose of sugar packed into just one can.

A lawsuit was filed last week by the family of a 14-year-old girl who died after consuming two of the Monster Energy Drinks in 24 hours—the autopsy revealed that, lo and behold, she died from “caffeine toxicity.” Currently on the Monster Energy Drink website, the drink is touted as “a killer energy brew.” These deaths bring new meaning to the phrase “killer energy brew.”

So, what is the implication of these deaths? The products can—and should—be recalled. Furthermore, if these deaths are linked to the drink, someone—or some company—must be held accountable. In terms of product liability, there are three main areas of liability: manufacturing defect, design defect, and marketing defect. A manufacturing defect is when the manufacturer (or in this case plant making the beverage) didn’t follow design instructions. Design defects are problems in the design of the product (the determination of how much of what goes into the drink) and marketing defects are deceptions in the marketing of a product (for example if this product was marketed as completely safe).

Chances are the company will be facing lawsuits under the design defect subcategory of product liability law. It is clearly negligent to pack 13 teaspoons of sugar and 240 mg of coffee into a can that you call “killer.” We use so many products throughout the day—from the cars we drive, to the pens we use to the drinks we drink. If they’re not safe, they shouldn’t be on the market and if they lead to injuries, the companies responsible should be held accountable.

For more information on this or any other personal injury issue, please reach out to us for a free consultation by calling 561-266-9191 or emailing daronberg@aronberglaw.com.

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