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Energy Drink Lawsuit: Legal Battles of Energetic Brands

by | Jul 11, 2024 | Product liability

People are accustomed to ingesting instant drinks, some of which are advertised and created for people to gain an instant energy boost after a strenuous workout or after depleting their energy after performing a difficult task. But does it really work as claimed? Numerous studies have shown that these fast energy drinks can have negative side effects that can seriously cause damage to the organs both immediately and over the long term.

Let’s get into the details by outlining these energy drink lawsuits filed against the companies in both individual and class action.

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Energy drink

An energy drink is a common beverage that seeks to provide the user with an immediate energy boost. They frequently include substances that are crucial for metabolizing energy, such as caffeine, sugar, vitamins, and amino acids.

People frequently consume energy drinks to increase their energy levels while engaging in physical activity or, if necessary, to stay awake.

However, some energy drinks contain extremely high amounts of sugar and caffeine; overconsumption of these may have negative health effects.

History of energy drinks

Energy drinks are a type of liquid product that frequently contains caffeine, with or without the addition of other dietary ingredients.

The history of energy drinks began in 1949. Dr. Enuf was the first energy drink brand that officially started manufacturing in the US, but it was launched around Europe in 1987. The brand gained enormous love and support from consumers after introducing Red Bull in 1997.

After seeing the success of Red Bull, numerous brands have introduced their own energy drink products globally. The market for energy drinks has significantly increased since then. In 2013, more than 5.8 billion liters of energy drinks were consumed annually across around 160 nations. Energy drink sales in the US were expected to have reached $12.5 billion in 2012, a 56% rise from the market’s size in 2002–2006.

Now that we have seen the history of energy drinks, let’s dive into their harmful side effects.

Energy drink side effects

Health problems from energy drinks can cause an increased heart rate and lead to other complications, including:

  • Heart Attack
  • Cardiac Arrest
  • Cardiac Arrhythmia
  • Death

In a survey, it was reported that in 2011, over 1,300 teenagers aged 12 to 17 went to the emergency room for an energy drink-related emergency.

Let’s discuss some of the energy drink side effects and the reasons behind them.

Dehydration

Energy drinks usually do not provide electrolytes; the human body needs electrolytes to stay hydrated. On the other hand, sugar molecules in energy drinks drain the water in the body and cause dehydration.

Heart complications

Caffeine in the energy drink stimulates the sympathetic nervous system by increasing the heart rate and blood pressure. This results in heart complications.

Anxiety

Anxiety, heart palpitations, agitation, and other physical symptoms are also caused by drinking excessively caffeinated energy drinks.

Insomnia

Consuming a caffeine-rich energy drink could possibly cause insomnia. Drinking caffeine even 6 hours before bedtime can also have effects on our sleep.

However, there are many more complications in energy drinks that made consumers file lawsuits against the brands they consumed. Let’s get right to the main concept now.

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Energy drink lawsuit

There are so many product liability lawsuits, wrongful death lawsuits, and class action lawsuits have been filed against energy drinks manufacturing companies, such as Monster Energy, Red Bull, Rockstar, Redline and others.

The market for energy drinks has reached its apex in our modern era. There were not many energy drinks like Jolt Cola on the market twenty years ago. With the introduction of drinks like Monster, Redline, Red Bull, Rockstar, Four Loko, and Hype, the market has since grown exponentially. There are additional energy supplements, including Redline, 5-Hour Energy, and others.

While ordinary colas and soft drinks are available alongside these energy drinks, certain energy drinks can contain up to 400 milligrams of caffeine, compared to a typical cola’s 35 milligrams. In recent years, the size of the cans has also grown, and marketing frequently encourages rapid consumption of a large number of drinks.

Every drink has a lot of caffeine and other ingredients that are meant to energize you and stimulate your body. However, questions regarding the safety of energy drinks have been raised, and some are advocating for stricter laws requiring more explicit label warnings about the health dangers of high caffeine intake and the possibility of caffeine toxicity.

Recent energy drink lawsuit news

Recently, news broke about a lawsuit spreading so fast across the U.S. on October 23, 2023. A 21-year-old girl named Sarah Katz died in September 2022 after consuming the charged caffeinated lemonade from Panera Bread Bakery Company. Jill and Michael Kate, her parents, had filed a lawsuit against the energy drink. They also claimed that the drink she consumed had a high amount of caffeine and was not labeled by giving proper warnings to the consumers.

According to the Food and Drug Administration, healthy adults can have up to 400 milligrams of caffeine daily.

However, the drink that Sara consumed contains a higher amount of caffeine than usual. It is reported that the drink contains nearly the same amount of caffeine as five 8-ounce cans of Red Bull.

For children under the age of twelve, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry recommends against giving caffeine, and for those between the ages of twelve and eighteen, it limits daily intake.

Alcoholic energy drink lawsuit due to side effects

Some energy drink industries expanded their business with alcoholic energy drinks like Joose and Liquid Charge. Experts suggest that the energy drink lawsuit is raised by the fact that the caffeine content in products like MillerCoors’ Sparks, masks the intoxicating effects of the alcohol, causing consumers to consume alcohol carelessly because they did not feel like they were feeling the effects of alcohol.

A number of widely reported fatalities prompted an investigation into alcoholic energy drinks like Four Loko, and after they started to be referred to as “blackouts in a can,” the FDA enacted a ban on alcoholic energy drinks in November 2010.
After the ban, a wrongful death claim for an alcoholic energy drink was filed against the Four Loko manufacturers.

Non-alcoholic energy drink lawsuit

Teenagers and children who consume energy drinks have the possibility of exposing themselves to potential health risks suggested in a study in February 2011. This was instructed in an August 2012 announcement by the makers of Monster Energy Drinks that they had been targeted by a state attorney’s investigation.

The lawsuit continued in October 2012 with the death of a 14-year-old girl who suffered cardiac arrest after drinking two 24-ounce cans of Monster. In a subsequent lawsuit, the FDA released new information on energy drink side effects and the health-risky event reports that point out that it has received at least 37 complaints involving Monster drinks alone since 2004, and the side effects of Monster energy drinks are suspected to be the reason for at least six deaths.

Based on the allegations raised in the complaint, there has been an increase in the number of emergency room visits each year due to caffeine overdoses, which clearly proves the increase in use of energy drinks like Monster among teenagers and youngsters.

The sales of energy drinks increased by 240% between 2004 and 2009, and caffeine overdose emergency visits increased from 1,128 in 2005 to 16,055 in 2008 and 13,114 in 2009. Nearly 56% of visits to the emergency room are by individuals between 12 and 25 years of age.

Caffeine works as a central nervous system stimulant in humans, preventing drowsiness and regaining alertness momentarily.

Caffeine overdose symptoms

Caffeine overdose symptoms are easily identified by the following symptoms:

  • jitters
  • nausea
  • anxiety
  • dizziness

And sometimes vomiting, which can be recovered quickly by drinking plenty of water.

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) made an announcement in February 2018 that energy drinks should not be consumed or marketed to children because the side effects that take place in children will have a huge impact on their health.

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Celsius drink lawsuit

A Celsius energy drink lawsuit has been filed by numerous people due to the fake advertisement labeling that they don’t have any preservatives in their drinks. However, it was found that citric acid is used in the drink.

But Celsius Company initiated that they use citric acid to boost the flavor, and there are no side effects or any other harm.

People who drank Celsius energy drinks may be eligible to receive compensation from a class action lawsuit settlement and earn up to $250.

Rather than pursuing further action with the lawsuit, the parties concluded with a settlement, which was finalized at $7.8 million.

The settlement came weeks after hip-hop artist Flo Rida received an $82.6 million settlement in a lawsuit with the company. A South Florida jury concluded that Celsius breached a contract with Flo Rida and attempted to hide money from him.

Eligibility for a Celsius class action lawsuit settlement

The website for the class-action settlement mentioned that only people who drank Celsius drinks for personal or household consumption and only those who bought the drinks from January 1, 2015, to November 12, 2022, are eligible for compensation.

During this timeframe, qualified individuals purchased the following celsius drinks:

  • Celsius BCAA+Energy
  • Celsius Heat
  • Celsius On-The-Go and Flo Fusion powdered drinks
  • Celsius with Stevia
  • Original Celsius (also labeled “Celsius Live Fit”)

Let us now discuss other energy drink lawsuits that have been filed by people either for false advertising or for manufacturing defective products.

  • Bang energy drink lawsuit
  • Red Bull lawsuit
  • Redline lawsuit
  • Starbucks lawsuit 2024

Let’s get into these lawsuits one by one.

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Bang energy drink lawsuit

A Bang Energy lawsuit has been filed by Monster Beverage Corporation for false advertising and defective products that could possibly cause harm or serious injuries to the consumer. Bang Energy Drink was accused of saying that these products contain super creatine.

According to the Bang, “Super Creatine” is a “miracle drink” that is 20 times more effective at reaching the brain than other forms of creatine, can reverse mental retardation, and can help treat neurological diseases like Alzheimer. Bang was accused of making these claims about its drink.

The Coca-Cola Company subsidiary Monster Beverage Corporation initially filed a lawsuit against Bang Energy in the Central District of California U.S. District Court in 2018 for deceiving consumers into thinking that their “Super Creatine” was a novel ingredient developed by VPX Sports. The stated health benefits were absent from the super creatine, which was merely water-soluble creatine.

Red Bull lawsuit

Red Bull GmbH, the company behind the well-known energy drink, has agreed to a $13 million settlement in a class action complaint that accused it of deceptively advertising its products.

According to BevNet.com, a claim that Red Bull misrepresented the products it advertised in a lawsuit and agreement calls for Red Bull to contribute $6.5 million to a settlement fund, which will be used to reimburse customers who bought at least one Red Bull can over the course of the previous ten years. Class members will have the choice of receiving a $10 cash payment or two free Red Bull products.

Red Bull was accused of misleading customers about the benefits of their energy beverages, which it claims improve performance, concentration, and response time. The plaintiffs said that these assertions were untrue and that the beverages’ only source of energy was caffeine.

A basic cup of coffee actually contains more caffeine than a can of Red Bull.

Red Bull defendants persistently market their product as a superior source of energy drink worthy of a premium price over a cup of coffee or other sources of caffeine.

However, according to BevNet.com, there is a lack of genuine scientific support for the claim that Red Bull-branded energy drinks provide any more benefit to a consumer than a cup of coffee.

Consumers who have been injured by Red Bull can successfully pursue compensation through class action lawsuits.

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Redline lawsuit

Redline Energy is a beverage that helps with weight loss in bodybuilders and other sportspeople. Redline energy drink contains ingredients such as caffeine, N-acetyl-tyrosine, yerba mate, green tea, 5-HTP, CAMP, Evoburn, Vinpocetine, and Yohimbine HCL.

Redline Energy Drink is manufactured by Vital Pharmaceuticals, which distributes the products as VPX, and is marketed as an energy booster and weight loss drink. These products are most commonly sold in health food stores and health clubs across the U.S.

A redline lawsuit is filed because of its harmful side effects on the consumer. The most common adverse effects that have been seen in these drinks are shivering, rapid heartbeat, sweating, anxiety, and nausea.

A class action lawsuit was filed against VPX by a man who was seriously injured by the side effects of these energy drinks. He also accused Redline Energy Drink of his suffering from its side effects that resembled a cocaine overdose.

According to the complaint, plaintiff Adam Mirabella suffered from extreme chest pain. He was frightened that it was a heart attack and lost sensation in his hands, and he also suffered from extreme nausea after consuming a single serving of Redline.

Mirabella claims that he was hospitalized and put on sedation for two days. As a result of drinking the beverage, he alleges Redline is unsafe due to numerous ingredients that are notable for the adverse effects they cause to humans that go well beyond the goal of energy enhancement.

Mirabella accused VPX of falsely advertising the Redline as a safe source of energy while being fully aware that it has the potential to cause serious side effects that might lead to some kind of personal injury, including chills, vomiting, convulsions, chest pain, and rapid heartbeat (arrhythmias).

Starbucks lawsuit                                                                        

A Starbucks lawsuit was filed by Joan Kominis and Jason McAllister in August 2022. Both ordered a Strawberry Acai Lemonade Refresher and a Strawberry Acai Refresher, respectively, and they were both distressed to learn that the drinks did not contain any actual acai. In their legal filing, they also allege that the two mango dragon fruit-based refreshers don’t include any mango, and the two pineapple passion fruit refreshers are passion fruit-free. Instead, the drinks are a blend of the other fruits provided with water, grape juice concentrate, and sugar.

Let’s see what actually happened in the case. Starbucks defended the case by arguing that the name of the refreshers does not describe the natural flavor contained in the juice. The company also suggests that they can’t be held responsible for the confusion for the customers if they had not asked for a solution. The U.S. District Judge, John Cronan, disagreed and allowed nine of the 11 claims in the lawsuit to go forward.

To conclude, as you can see, there are so many lawsuits that are being filed against brands.

As consumers, it is our duty to analyze the energy drink from top to bottom before we consume, because in the world we live in, many products are either defective or cause harm. If you are caught up in any kind of personal injury due to a defective product with harmful side effects, properly maintaining your medical records and contacting an energy drink lawsuit attorney would be a wiser decision to make. The reason to keep your medical records safe is because it can help the attorney at its maximum to win your case and receive compensation or a settlement through the lawsuit.

LezDo TechMed stands as a premier authority in the realm of medical record review services. With a laser-focused dedication to accuracy and expertise, we specialize in offering comprehensive solutions that empower Personal Injury and product liability attorneys across the US.

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