Anais Fournier: Alleged Monster Energy Drink Death Leads to SoCal Lawsuit
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has been made aware of as many as six deaths and 18 hospitalizations that might be linked to drinking the high-caffeine energy drink Monster, which has its corporate offices in Corona. (Monster disputes any links.)
It turns out one of those deaths involved a 14-year-old Maryland girl, Anais Fournier, who was hospitalized after drinking two large cans of Monster.
Her family announced a lawsuit this week against the Southern California makers of the drink:
In a statement sent to the Weekly and other outlets, her family's L.A.-area lawyer, Alexander R. Wheeler, says Fornier was watching a movie at a mall when she suffered a fatal heart attack in December.
A coma was induced but she was taken off of life support after six days, the statement says:
According to the autopsy, the cause of death was caffeine toxicity from an "energy drink."
Anais in the hospital
Fournier's family filed a wrongful-death lawsuit last week in Riverside County Superior Court.
A dollar figure wasn't attached to the claim, but the suit says the family seeks "to recover all damages allowed by law for personal injuries suffered by their daughter prior to her death" as well as "all damages allowed by law as a result of the wrongful death of their daughter."
The suit says Anais had two 24-ounce cans of Monster -- the equivalent, it argues, of "fourteen (14) 12-oz. cans of Coca-Cola." One of those Monster cans has 240 milligrams of caffeine as well as guarana (which apparently has more caffeine) and taurine, another energy supplement.
A few hours after her last sip, the suit says, Fournier went into cardiac arrest.
Attorney Wheeler argues that caffeine is known to have been lethal in doses as low as 200 milligrams, and that Monster should know better than to market and sell such high-octane energy products, particularly to kids.
UP NEXT: The full complaint, and claims that Monster has danced around FDA regulation on caffeine by marketing itself as a dietary supplement.