Mother sues Monster for teen's death

Oakland woman says son drank two cans every day
Associated Press
Jun 26, 2013

 

The mother of a teenager who died from cardiac arrhythmia last year is blaming his death on Monster Beverage, alleging in a lawsuit filed Tuesday that his death was caused by habitually drinking the company's energy drink.

Alex Morris, 19, went into cardiac arrest during the early morning hours of July 1 and was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The lawsuit filed in Alameda County Superior Court alleges Morris would not have died if he did not drink two cans of Monster's energy drink every day for the three years before his death, including the day he died.

Morris' mother, Paula Morris, is listed as a plaintiff in the case.

The lawsuit comes after the family of 14-year-old Anais Fournier of Maryland also sued the company last year after she consumed two 24-ounce cans of Monster and died.

"Our allegations in the lawsuits are the same and that's the peoples deaths were caused by these energy drinks and more specifically the defendants failure to warn about the dangers," said Alexander Wheeler, an attorney representing the plaintiffs in both cases.

Monster representatives did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.

The company said previously in Fournier's case that no blood test was performed to confirm that the girl died of "caffeine toxicity" as the lawsuit claimed, saying she died of natural causes brought on by pre-existing conditions.

Monster and other energy drinks have faced increased scrutiny in recent months. The Food and Drug Administration is investigating reports of deaths linked to energy drinks, including five that cite Monster beverages, but the agency noted that the reports don't prove the drinks caused the deaths.

San Francisco city attorney Dennis Herrera is also suing Monster Beverage for marketing its energy drinks to children, saying the products pose severe health risks.

 

Comments

candleburner

I have a friend who's son passed away in 2011 due to similar circumstances. He was drinking 1 or 2 of these a day and in addition to his ADD medication they caused him to have a massive heart attack at the age of 21. He was dead before they could get him to the hospital 15 minutes away. Because of his age and ADD being his only health condition they obviously did an autopsy and that's when the coroner realized that it was the combination of his medication and the Monster energy drinks that lead to his death. IMO they should be labeled the same as cigarettes are.

sandtown born a...

I agree they should have all necessary warning labels. Hopefully if nothing else this suit will accomplish this

MiddleRight

If this works we should all sue Pepsi and Coke because we have diabetes.
I hope the judge immediately throws this out of court. Take some responsibility for yourself.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Don't forget mobile phone makers for brain tumors and to be all-inclusive with the soda drinkers, those who drink diet versions will get some form of cancer from the saccharine! Is McDonald's still making hot coffee? If so I thought they would have learned their lesson by now...

On a less sarcastic note, the behavior of the adult (teen) was irresponsible. I walked six feet from where I'm posting to look in my cooler and there are cautions and warnings on the cans about consumption and recommendations to those like pregnant women to avoid the drinks. While some people lack it, there is also common sense. This adult must also have either avoided any kind of prior medical care, or if he did go, either did not tell his doctor about his consumption or hid it. Even dentists these days take your blood pressure as a way to do some basic general health screening that could lead to recommendations to other doctors.

Even in the case that the parent was aware of the consumption and advised against it or tried to stop it, it would seem that her interest (if it existed prior to her son's unfortunate, and I mean unfortunate when I say it, death) was ignored by the adult son as he continued his consumption. There is only so much you can do for a person, though.

ladydye_5

WHY did the parents ALLOW the CHILDREN to drink the drinks? WHO gave them the money to buy them?

deertracker

Really? I think you have the only ANGELS on this planet!

ladydye_5

My kids are not angels I know this. My kids also have seen what these drinks do to their friends. My kids have tried these drinks and do NOT like the taste of them. They know I do not what them drinking them. My daughter drinks coffee drinks and my son drinks Mt Dew. Yes they both have caffeine in them and my kids know that. My kids also drink Gatorade, water, juice, milk and other things. It is called TALKING TO YOUR KIDS. Teach them. Take responsibility! Show them by example. I know my kids are not angels. Never said they were. But I KNOW my kids do not drink these energy drinks.

deertracker

So it's okay to teach them it is healthy to drink a pot of coffee per day {because mommy does} but not the energy drink because they have too much caffeine in them. Great example there.

ladydye_5

People have been drinking coffee for CENTURIES and NOT DIED FROM IT!

Blues

You're freakin' delusional, ladydye. Better cut down on the caffeine.

Unassumer

Just don't eat or drink anything that's bad for you. Good luck finding anything that is good for you though.

YoMamma

Agree with Ladydye_5! What happened to parental responsibility?

deertracker

How can you stop your kid from going to the store and buying something?

Nemesis

The same way you stop your kid from going out and raping or shooting someone. Be a parent, not a pal. Plenty of people manage to do so.

deertracker

How can you equate buying a legal drink at the store with rape? How do you know she wasn't a good parent? Kids do what they want to do after a certain age. You get more ridiculous with each post.

Nemesis

Deertracker, whether it's rape or energy drinks, there are kids who do it, and kids who comply with instructions not to, and the difference is how they are raised. What you new age types fail to grasp when you make such generalizations is that there are plenty of exceptions - there are plenty of kids who do not simply do what they want after a certain age. If ALL kids INEVITABLY gave themselves over to their base impulses and ignored their parents instructions after a certain age, as you claim, society would be unlivable, and kids dying from energy drink overdoses would be too commonplace to make the news.

"Ridiculous" must be your word for not drinking the pop culture Kool-Aid. Look around, think for yourself, and you'll be surprised.

2cents's picture
2cents

That's right, my dad used to go to the grocery and buy dynamite to blast rocks and carry it home in his bicycle basket.

Bottom line, everything is a tool including caffeine! Energy drink yea, just a stimulant and when your energy is gone then what? Lac of nutrition and fake fuel is all that stuff is. I enjoy my two cups of coffee a day but I have to do caffeine free otherwise I get all jittery, can't imagine drinking it for energy or replacing sleep. It's not the stuff you have to go after, it's how they advertise it to young impressionable people.

JudgeMeNot

Be a responsible parent.

Just Because

The FDA needs to get of their butts!
People are not becoming diabetic from drinking 1 to 2 cans of soda a day, but they are dying from drinking these stupid drinks! There is enough in this world to kill us, we don't need more especially when it can be prevented. KEEP YOUR KIDS AWAY FROM THESE ENERGY DRINKS! Noone needs this much caffeine!

ladydye_5

It is a personal choice....I drink a POT of coffee a day. Does the FDA need to stop me? Do they need to take the coffee maker out of my house? It my choice. I do not drink soda. But I like my coffee. I do not drink energy drinks, I like coffee. I do not put sugar in it, I do not use creamer. WHY DOES THE GOVERNMENT NEED TO PROTECT STUPID PEOPLE from themselves? It is called natural selection. If you are stupid enough to drink this stuff and die from it, so be it. If you are not smart enough to know it can be bad for your health or use it in moderation then so be it. Smoking can kill you, drugs can kill you, guns can kill you , not wearing your seat belt can kill you, diving in shallow water can kill you, putting a bag over your head can kill you, a hammer to your head can kill you, the list goes on and on. YES BE A PARENT and keep YOUR KIDS away from these drinks. BE A PARENT....the government is NOT a babysitter you are the parent. If I want to drink caffeine I can. I do not need to government or the FDA to tell me I can or cant.

deertracker

It is also a personal choice to eat beef but if the FDA says a particular batch of beef is unhealthy or deadly, would you eat it anyway just because you don't want the government telling you what to eat? It is extremely delusional to think that just because you tell a kid not to do something they will obey you.

JudgeMeNot

Guess you cannot comprehend this: WHY DOES THE GOVERNMENT NEED TO PROTECT STUPID PEOPLE from themselves?

Nemesis

"It is also a personal choice to eat beef but if the FDA says a particular batch of beef is unhealthy or deadly, would you eat it anyway just because you don't want the government telling you what to eat?"
Yes - if the store could offer it for sale at a reduced price, I'd cook it thoroughly, and save some money. That's yet another choice the nannystate seeks to deny us.

It is extremely delusional to think that just because you tell a kid not to do something they will obey you.

And yet, every single day, MILLIONS of parents place that expectation on their kids, and their kids meet it.

vicariouslyAlive

this is the nation we live in. where personal accountability doesn't exist and you can sue someone else for your own ignorance.

trying to sue monster for their product, which is a choice to purchase, killing someone that CHOSE TO BUY AND CONSUME THE PRODUCT ITSELF, is like trying to sue Mcdonalds for making people fat and Phillip Morris for someone dying of smoking related illnesses...

there needs to be some form of constitutional law passed down that says if someone chooses to do harm to their own body, even when daily recommended serving sizes are plainly written as well as other warnings are plainly visible, people cannot sue the company that creates the product... it sure as hell would end all of these frivolous lawsuits.

i consume 2 32oz. can of monster a day, and my blood pressure is below normal and my heart rate is healthier than the average persons... so good luck to this idiot woman trying to convince that monster is indefinitely the reason her son died.

deertracker

The article reads like there are no health risks labeled on the can and that is the reason for the lawsuit. People die everyday, some for no apparent reason at all. It's not too much to ask for a warning label before I make my CHOICE.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

From one of the cans I sell:

"CONSUME RESPONSIBLY - MAX 1 CAN EVERY 4 HOURS WITH LIMIT 3 CANS PER DAY. NOT RECOMMENDED FOR CHILDREN, PEOPLE SENSITIVE TO CAFFEINE, PREGNANT WOMEN OR WOMEN WHO ARE NURSING."

It is below the nutritional label and above another statement that reads:

"THESE STATEMENTS HAVE NOT BEEN EVALUATED BY THE FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION. THIS PRODUCT IS NOT INTENDED TO DIAGNOSE, TREAT, CURE, OR PREVENT ANY DISEASE."

To be fair, and I don't have a bottle of them handy, I think that the above statement is also found on vitamin bottles. Does this mean some kind of other labeling standard should be imposed? Perhaps. After all I hear all kinds of ads for "male enhancement" yet at the end of the commercial the same statement is made.

Monster is supposed to give you energy, vitamins are supposed to give you nutritional supplements, and "herbal remedies" are supposed to increase your dimensions. Yet the out for each is that while advertised as such they aren't intended to do what they claim.

In this case, even as a perfectly legal cop-out, Monster may be able to say that not only do they provide a label but that the customer drinking it was doing so falsely thinking it would provide him energy. I know I am straddling the fence between Devil's advocate and head-scratcher but it is what it is until a professional industry and/or legal explanation can be provided.

ladydye_5

They have warnings on them. Just like cigarettes, just like alcohol. Maybe they should be taught to READ! Hot coffee has a warning on it. Just about everything you buy has some kind of warning on it because DUMB A22 people like YOU need to be TOLD it could be dangerous to your health. Are you really that dense? I say leave all the warnings off and let natural selection take over.

bigdad1205

More of the same it can't possibly be their fault it has to be someone elses fault. This just in you are allowed to tell your child no. Even if he or she is 14 years old

CAST THE FIRST STONE

i smoked for 25 years before i quit. I knew it was bad for me and did not stop until 7 years ago. I think most people drinking energy drinks know it is not good for you but do it anyway. So taking this to court is not going to stop people from doing this... People make choices

registerer

Apparently, the parents should have taught their kids how to read as there are warnings on these drinks!! Trying to blame someone else for their mistakes.

YoMamma

It's the schools fault for not teaching the kids how to read!

juggalo7

i hate two kidney stones from drinking to much pop and energy drinks.. can i sue them also?

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Norell4u

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grandmasgirl

I think that some people's bodies can handle something like this and others can't. There are a lot of people out there that take the "5 hour energy" drinks. Is there a difference? Some people can die from peanuts, others have no problem. We cannot stop producing food because some systems cannot handle it. That being said, my sympathy goes out to any parent who loses a child.

Blues

I went to a gas station/convenience store out of town earlier today. I asked for a 5 hour energy drink. They work well for me when and if I want them. I had to produce an ID. I'm freakin' 54 years old with gray hair. This is gettin' stupid.

he said she said

IMO this lawsuit is ridiculous!! Mommy can't control what a 19 year old ADULT buys; kids are legally adults whether they act it or not at the age of 18! People have to understand that suing a major company is not always going to grow a money tree in their backyard. I'm sorry this kid is dead, but he chose to drink something that is loaded with caffeine.

I make the choice to drink Pepsi and smoke cigs. If my teeth rot and fall out that's my fault because I know how much sugar is in there, not the Pepsi Company. If I develop cancer from smoking, that's my fault too. I make the conscious choice to drink Pepsi and smoke; no one is holding a gun to my head telling me to do so.

TKeegan73's picture
TKeegan73

Who bought the teen the Monster Energy Drinks? Last time I checked you were required to be at least 18yrs old to purchase them. Liability should be placed more in the parents hands, especially if they can recall their child drinking 2 a day for the past year!? There are very clear warnings printed on the cans as to recommended consumption of the energy drink. Who would let their kid drink those that frequent? Seems like more and more cases pile up every year of "lack of adequate parenting" and everyone is so fast to point the finger of blame everywhere but at themselves. JMHO!

arnmcrmn

Just more "Its not my fault" mentality going around this nation. Lets sue someone because my son bought and drank 2 cans of a drink everyday. Yup, its the company's fault, they forced my son to drink it????

This country is so backward anymore. Nobody can accept responsibility.

Whats next....sue McDonalds for heart attacks and obesity. "They made me eat it"