June 18, 2015 — The Wall Street Journal reports that Monster Beverage Corp. has agreed to undisclosed settlements in two wrongful-death lawsuits.
The settlements were reportedly reached in April, just as Coca-Cola prepared to assume a 16.7% stake in the energy drink company.
One of the lawsuits was filed on behalf of Alex Morris, a 19 year-old who died after drinking two cans of Monster Energy every day for three years. The coroner ruled his death was caused by cardiac arrhythmia and cardiomyopathy.
Another lawsuit was filed on behalf of Shane Felts, whose wife said he drank a can of Monster Energy every day for two weeks before he died.
Monster has not resolved a lawsuit involving the death of a 14 year-old girl and the case is set for trial this summer. The victim, Anais Fournier, went into cardiac arrest after drinking two 24-ounce cans of Monster energy drinks in a 24-hour period in 2011. The autopsy report blamed her death on “cardiac arrhythmia due to caffeine toxicity,” exacerbated by a pre-existing heart condition.
Monster Corp. is still facing at least five product-liability lawsuits. Three lawsuits accusing the company of misleading marketing have been dismissed since 2013, according to the WSJ.
The WSJ also found that the FDA has received about 300 reports of adverse events linked to energy drinks since 2004, including 31 deaths and heart problems or convulsions. Monster energy drinks were named in 40 reports. The label on Monster says the drinks are not for children or pregnant women, but some experts have called the advertising “misleading” because it targets teenagers and young adults.
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