Parents sue Monster Beverage over girl's death

The Maryland teen reportedly suffered cardiac arrest after drinking 2 24-ounce Monster beverages. Her parents claim caffeine in the product contributed to her death.

By John Davenport Oct 22, 2012 4:10PM

MSN Money news services

 

HAGERSTOWN, Md. - The parents of a 14-year-old Hagerstown, Md., girl who died in December are suing the maker of Monster Energy Drink, claiming caffeine in the product contributed to her death.

 

The complaint was filed Friday in California Superior Court in Riverside. It says Anais Fournier went into cardiac arrest after drinking two, 24-ounce Monster Beverage Corp. (MNST) drinks within a 24-hour period.

 

Monster is based in Corona, Calif.

 

An autopsy found that Fournier died of cardiac arrhythmia due to caffeine toxicity that impeded her heart's ability to pump blood. She suffered from an inherited disorder that can weaken blood vessels.

 

Monster says it doesn't believe its beverages are responsible for Fournier's death. The company says it's not aware of any fatalities caused by its drinks. Monster says it will vigorously fight the lawsuit.

 

Monster's energy drinks have been cited in the deaths of five people in the past year, according to incident reports that doctors and companies submit to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

 

The five reports received by the agency said the victims consumed Monster drinks prior to their deaths, Shelly Burgess, an FDA spokeswoman, told Bloomberg News. The agency said the incidents, which are voluntarily reported, are considered to be allegations, and no conclusion is drawn until a full investigation is completed.

 

The five deaths, and a sixth in 2009 in which a person died of a heart attack, were among 37 adverse reaction reports since 2004 that mentioned Monster drinks, according to a log of incidents that health professionals and other people voluntarily recorded with the FDA.