Photo via jeepersmedia on Flickr
Orlando-based law firm Morgan and Morgan filed lawsuits Monday in California and Washington against Monster Energy, alleging that the company's high-caffeine drinks cause serious injuries.
According to Morgan & Morgan's website
, attorneys Mike Morgan and Andrew Parker Felix are currently investigating over 100 claims from people alleging they've suffered significant injuries, including heart attacks, kidney failure, brain damage and strokes, after consuming Monster's energy drinks. The law firm also claims that Monster "intentionally targets children, teenagers and young adults with its marketing."
The plaintiffs in these cases range from age 12 to 43, and Morgan & Morgan says that they had no prior health issues before drinking Monster Energy. According to WMFE
, attorneys are also claiming the energy drink gave a 14-year-old a stroke.
In a news conference on Monday, WESH 2 News
reported that the law firm received the complaints after a new study in the International Journal of Cardiology linked serious heart problems to consuming more than two energy drinks a day.
The grounds for complaints in these cases include product defects, improper testing, lack of warnings and concealment of known side effects.
Morgan & Morgan is alleging that Monster's classification as a dietary supplement prior to 2013 allowed the company to avoid putting labels on their cans indicating how much caffeine was in the beverage. This, the complaint says, caused consumers to make ill-informed decisions about the consumption of the drinks.
Although Monster now falls under FDA regulations, the lawsuit claims that the individual ingredients, which the FDA generally regards as safe, have not been tested together as a mixture, which could produce different results.
One lawsuit involves 43-year-old Joel Rine, a man who suffered a stroke after drinking six Monster Energy drinks a day.
In a response to Rine's lawsuit given to News 13
, a Monster Energy Company spokesperson said the company stands by its products and called the complaint a "copy-cat case filed by personal injury lawyers ... trying to make a cottage industry out of suing energy drink companies."
The response also claimed that a 16 oz. Monster Energy drink contains less than half the caffeine that can be found in a medium-size Starbucks coffee.
While Morgan & Morgan is only filing lawsuits against Monster Energy, it has set up a website
that encourages people who have experienced serious side effects from other energy drinks like Red Bull, Rockstar and 5-hour Energy to seek legal aid.