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Energy Drinks Linked to the Death of a Maryland Girl

It is no secret, strenuous lifestyles practiced by the majority of Americans require a significant, and sometimes infeasible, amount of energy. Accordingly, energy drinks have served as a means by which individuals are able to accomplish the tasks of a demanding schedule. Therefore, the energy drink industry has witnessed a rapid influx of sales to specific consumer populations. Of particular concern, however, are the negative effects such an increase may have on certain populations. Compounding these concerns, is the death of a 14-year-old Maryland girl who died last December after suffering from a heart attack believed to be caused by caffeine toxicity.

Energy drinks were purposefully developed to mimic the effects that coffee has on an individual. Otherwise known as coffee substitutes, energy drinks give those who drank them a temporary, and sometimes necessary boost in energy. Once Red Bull was introduced to the U.S. market in 1997, the popularity of energy drinks grew exponentially. Following the release of Red Bull into interstate commerce, various beverage companies including Coca-Cola and Pepsi entered the market.

Recent years have witnessed the emergence of several new energy drinks. They include 5 Hour Energy, KMX of Coca-Cola, 180 of Anheuser-Busch, Hansen’s Energy, and Adrenaline Rush of PepsiCo’s SoBe. Pepsi had earlier introduced AMP under the Mountain Dew brand and also Extreme Energy by Arizona Beverage Company was launched. However, Austria-based Red Bull remains the market leader according to market research statistics. Their current U.S. domestic market may exceed $10 billion.

Growth of the current worldwide market for energy drinks is estimated at 17.8%. Major producers are focusing heavily on marketing, targeting the promotion of energizing conception, result-oriented marketing and product positioning and a greater push into developing markets. However, the majority of their marketing is directed at the youth of America.

According to data from the Pediatrics study, energy drinks are consumed by an estimated 30% to 50% of adolescents and young adults. Frequently containing high and unregulated amounts of caffeine, these drinks have been reported in association with serious adverse effects, especially in children, adolescents, and young adults with seizures, diabetes, cardiac abnormalities, or mood and behavioral disorders or those who take certain medications. The study acknowledge that “the known and unknown pharmacology of agents included in such drinks, combined with reports of toxicity, raises concern for potentially serious adverse effects in association with energy-drink use.”

Findings such as these have recently been substantiated by the recent death of a young woman out of Maryland. Anais Fournier, who already had an underlying heart condition, consumed two 24-ounce energy drinks at the mall last December. The 480 milligrams of caffeine contained in the two energy drinks was nearly five times the limit that is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. The following day, Anais went into cardiac arrest. Here condition remained critical for nearly a week, until she was finally pronounced dead on the sixth day. Doctors acknowledged that Anais sufered from caffeine toxicity that induced a heart attack.

The unfortunate circumstances witnessed in this case, along with several more similar stories, have become a catalyst for concern. U.S. health professionals are seeing a more than a 1,000 percent increase in hospital emergency room visits involving energy drinks since 2005, according to a Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality study.

Do I Have an Energy Drink Lawsuit?

The trial lawyers at The Senators (Ret.) Firm, LLP have decades of experience navigating through complex legislative and regulatory issues and litigating high stakes cases all over the nation. Our law firm focuses on the representation of plaintiffs in energy drink lawsuits. We are currently accepting new cases in all 50 states.

If you or a loved one has been injured after having an energy drink, you may be entitled to financial compensation. For a free case review, please click the link below or call toll free 24 hrs/day 1-800-773-0849.

Categories: Product Liability
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