One of the most common drinks to be found in any store and that have saturated the market are energy drinks. They come in all shapes and sizes, labelled by brand names that we know and generic ones; all with the promise to give energy for hours. Many of them contain mostly caffeine and nothing else. It is no wonder that these products have been linked to several instances of harm and death among consumers. This article will discuss the product liability claims with regards to energy drinks.
The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has received countless reports with regards to deaths that are connected to what is referred to as 5-hour energy drinks. The drink has doses of caffeine, vitamin b, taurine and other ingredients in it. The promise is always that the consumer will have an energy boost for hours to come. An article in the New York Times stated that there were approximately 90 filings made with the FDA since 2009 with regards to 5-hour energy drinks. These claims documented more than 30 incidents that involved harm that was described a serious or life-threatening and included the following:
- heart attacks
- spontaneous abortion
While these reports are unable to substantiate the products effects on all consumers, it can spur on investigation and enquiry and it can be noted that some individuals may be affected by certain factors regarding the product itself.
It must be noted that the whole energy drink industry has been under close scrutiny due to a significant number of injury and death related to the consumption of such drinks. The Bloomberg Business Week reports submitted to the FDA connected Monster energy drinks to 5 deaths in one year. A lawsuit was filed and the report has been used as supporting evidence in a case against the company. The lawsuit explains that the drink is tied to a caffeine toxicity leading to the death of a 14-year-old girl.
Generally, energy drinks sold in stores come in a 16 oz cans, however, the 5-hour energy drinks are sold in 2 oz plastic bottles and are called ‘shots’. They are said to provide up to five hours of energy to the consumer. It is reported that they work in a relatively similar way as coffee, however, a recent publication in Consumer Reports estimated that the shots have little over the amount of caffeine that is found in a typical cup of coffee. They contain about 207mg of caffeine compared to the 100 to 150mg found in an 8 oz cup of coffee. Such an estimate has been made because the manufacturer of 5-Hour Energy, Living Essentials did not disclose the amount on each bottle.
It must be noted though that the 5-hour energy drinks have interesting disclaimers in their fine print. It is noted that the product only provides a feeling of alertness and energy but no actual energy is provided nor does it improve performance or endurance. When consumed in excess it results in a rapid heartbeat, inability to sleep, overwhelming nervousness or feelings of anxiety.
If you have sustained injury through use of an energy drink speak to a personal injury attorney Alaska