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Monster Denies Allegations Its Product Caused Girl's Death

"Monster does not believe that its products are in any way responsible for the death of Ms. (Anais) Fournier and intends to vigorously defend the lawsuit," according to a statement released by the company.

The Corona-based Monster Beverage Corp. Tuesday rejected allegations that its product had anything to do with the death of a 14-year-old girl whose parents are suing the manufacturer for liability and negligence.

"Monster does not believe that its products are in any way responsible for the death of Ms. (Anais) Fournier and intends to vigorously defend the lawsuit," according to a statement released by the company.

Fournier's family filed suit against Monster in Riverside County Superior Court Wednesday, claiming the Hagerstown, Md. teenager's death was precipitated by the consumption of two 24-oz. energy drinks in a 24-hour period.

The youth suffered a massive heart attack last December and went into a coma. She was removed from life support six days later. According to published reports, she had an underlying heart condition that may have contributed to her cardiac arrest.

Alexander Wheeler, a Lancaster attorney representing her family, said Monster Energy bears responsibility for failing to provide warnings about the potential negative consequences from consuming high quantities of Monster Energy.

"These energy drinks contain highly dangerous levels of caffeine and can be extremely harmful, but these grave health dangers are not clearly marked on the cans," Wheeler said.

"Anais' family wants to make sure another family doesn't have to endure the same tragedy as they have."

The lawsuit alleges strict product liability and negligence in design, sale and manufacture of the product.

According to the plaintiffs, the two drinks that Anais consumed contained a total 480 milligrams of caffeine -- equal to 14 cans of cola. Wheeler noted that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration limits the amount of caffeine per soda to 71.5 mg per 12-oz. drink.

However, the same regulation doesn't apply to energy drinks because they're considered dietary supplements.

Monster said its products generally contain 10 milligrams of caffeine"from all sources per ounce."

"An entire 24-oz. can of Monster Energy contains about 240 milligrams of caffeine ... which is around 30 percent less than the average caffeine contained in a medium-sized 16-oz. cup of coffee house-brewed coffee," according to the company.

Said Kevin Goldberg, a Silver Spring, Md. attorney who is also representing the family: "Nothing can bring Anais back, but we can tell the world these energy drinks are harmful.

"Our hope is discovery in this case will shed light on Monster Corp.'s practices regarding what they do or do not tell the public and FDA about the safety of their products."

The plaintiffs pointed out that between 2004 and 2012, the FDA reported six deaths and 18 hospitalizations allegedly connected to Monster Energy drinks.

The company countered that the agency's "adverse event reports ... do not mean that the reported event is caused by the product."

"The FDA has made clear that it has not established any casual link between Monster Energy drinks and the reports it has received," Monster stated.

The first hearing in the case is set for April.

California Girl October 24, 2012 at 05:00 PM
I am sorry for the families loss! It is sad to lose someone over something like this. But it is common sense when it comes to energy drinks to drink one, knowing how much caffeine is in ONE can!
BLUESGUITAR777 October 24, 2012 at 05:05 PM
I miss the old 'Lost' energy drink, the original one. It had the best flavor. I don't know why they stopped making those. Monster is caca.
Diana October 24, 2012 at 06:41 PM
I too am sorry for the loss of this young girl and prayers go out to the family. I find it hard to believe that someone could actually die from drinking two of these energy drinks in a 24 hour period, hopefully a toxicology report won't find that they were mixed with something else, I know alot of people in the past used to mix Redbull with Voldka. Very sad story.
John Marshall October 24, 2012 at 07:41 PM
My question what is a 14 year old girl drinking 2 large monsters? Especially if she had a heart condition. I know the parents are hurting but maybe they should look in at them selves and not at a company that makes a highly caffinated beverage.
BLUESGUITAR777 October 24, 2012 at 08:33 PM
I know right? If the parents knew beforehand about the kid's heart condition, maybe Monster should counter-sue and have the authorities press charges against the parents. While the girl's death is absolutely tragic I'm sick and tired of everyone trying to make a buck off an unfortunate (and probably avoidable) circumstance. People need to take responsibility for themselves and their children. Common sense and responsibility seem to be a dying art now-a-days.
The Teller of Truth October 24, 2012 at 09:14 PM
I can't seem to find the sentence where it said that this unfortunate child had any pre- existing heart conditions? Perhaps these parents, in their grief, are more interested in spreading the word to other parents about the potential hazards of this particular product. It is unfortunate that some unscrupulous lawyer stands to make a buck in doing so, but maybe thats something they weighed & overlooked just to have their childs short life mean something. Parents can't be policing their children every minute of every day. I recall the trouble I got away with in my youth & I'm guessing everyone has. I don't think that many parents have had that "Don't drink two energy drinks" conversations with their kids cause they never quite thought it could be lethal. That doesn't make the parents or the kids irresponsibile as much as it just makes them non informed. My sympathies go out to the family of this innocent child. I'm glad that you're informing others about these dangers and that your childs death was not in vain. God Bless..........
Reverend Smith October 24, 2012 at 11:20 PM
All these "energy drinks" are crap. All they are is water crammed with all the sugar, caffeine and other stimulants the water can absorb plus some artificial flavoring and fluorescent coloring - all crap. A lot of people have "heart conditions" that have not been diagnosed. And this crap is bad for you if you don't have a "preexisting" condition. In fact, this crap could probably produce a heart "condition". A can if Monster has the same caffeine content as an 8 oz cup of coffee. A 12 oz can of Coca-Cola just has a third as much caffeine. But a kid can drink two Monsters in the time it takes to drink a six pack of Coke. And even if a Kid does toss down a six-pack of Coke, it'll take three times the time and the kid will probably pass half the liquid and it's stimulant payload out of his body before completing the six pack. But a couple of Monsters could be consumed in a few minutes, delivering a shock of stimulant lots of kids bodies' aren't prepared for. I hope the lawsuit sues Monster and forces them to limit sales to adults dumb enough to wreck their own bodies instead of putting their kids health in danger.
Constant Comment October 24, 2012 at 11:31 PM
I agree Teller and nicely stated. }~)
tom October 24, 2012 at 11:32 PM
Google aspartame and check out all the lovely things that does to you. Supersize it with a diet soda.
Karen P October 25, 2012 at 03:05 AM
@reverand, you do realize that Monster does not sell direct to the public. So a law would have to be passed similar to tobacco and liquor setting an age limit. This would control point of sale, grocery stores, and convenience store. It would not limit who the manufacturer sells to on the wholesale end. One would assume, that you would want this to apply to coffee sales also, since this girl could have just as easily consumed two extra large Starbucks coffees, with extra shots of expresso.
Edison Carter October 25, 2012 at 02:05 PM
It is now official, energy drinks have killed more people than marijuana.
ROBERT BLACKMEN October 25, 2012 at 02:52 PM
Wow I feel terrible gor the family.I just think that kids should not be drinking this crap.such a sad story..let god be with here and help there family get threw these tuff times
BLUESGUITAR777 October 25, 2012 at 03:17 PM
Teller - Fourth paragraph, third sentence. CC - Of course you would agree with yourself... err... I mean Teller. You two are conjoined at the hip. ;o)
The Teller of Truth October 25, 2012 at 06:36 PM
@Bluesguitar, its called having a friend. You might want to give it a try sometime. And oh by the way, if you ever do, you might not want to expose their real first & last name this time. If they don't want to say it, then its not up to you to spill the beans. Still not cool......you have yourself a good one!
Constant Comment October 25, 2012 at 07:24 PM
The only thing "conjoined" at my hip is titanium! }~)
WorkingMom October 25, 2012 at 08:15 PM
I believe the 4th paragraph states "According to published reports, she had an underlying heart condition that may have contributed to her cardiac arrest."
BLUESGUITAR777 October 25, 2012 at 08:25 PM
Teller - Cute little response. I do have friends, many of them. But I don't live my life online. My friends and I actually get together and hang out, ride motorcycles, fish, drink beer, etc. It's good times. You should try it. ;o) Also Vince really isn't so much a friend as he is an old acquaintance. I never aired his last name in a public forum, only on his profile. It was you or CC (same person?) who went out of their way to look it up. I really didn't care personally as I know a lot of crap the Vince I know has pulled and I can't say I'm very happy with him. Anyway I have things to do (in real life). You have yourself a great day...
Constant Comment October 25, 2012 at 08:53 PM
Geeze...sure hope that this isn't another 'popularity stalker' situation here! (Went way outta your way to state you "have friends" really really......and you "do fun stuff" really really. You did forget the "You believe me, don't you?") Just sounds bad. Unless someone actually ASKED you to reveal his last name on anything internet, its just wrong to do so. Bad form buddy! You have yourself a good day....}~)
California Girl October 26, 2012 at 07:53 PM
I see where it says about her heart condition! The parents knew she had a heart condition, and the parents and the child should know not to be drinking energy drinks with a heart condition especially two energy drinks with a lot of caffeine in it!! It is sad the way this child died, but maybe this can be a eye opener and people can realize it is not just the energy drinks fault it is the parents fault. It is called a energy drink for a reason, if you have a heart condition should not be drinking them
The Teller of Truth October 26, 2012 at 08:09 PM
Thanks for all that found the sentence I was looking for. I didn't say that it didn't exist, I just couldn't find it. Also, California girl, I can not find where it said that either the child herself or the parents actually 'knew about' this heart condition. Can you enlighten me there?
Jason EHS '99 November 14, 2012 at 09:29 PM
Blaming an energy drink company for a heart attack is like blaming mcdonalds for making them fat.

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