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Energy drinks may pose risk to Illinois consumers

An energy drink is a beverage that contains a large amount of caffeine. This type of beverage is very popular in many U.S. cities, including Chicago. Monster Energy Drink is one of the most trendy energy drinks available. According to Beverage Digest, Monster's sales volume increased almost 17 percent last year. However, one fatality may affect Monster's sales and profits. Their beverages may even be found to be dangerous and defective.

The death of a 14-year-old girl may be related to the consumption of a Monster Energy Drink. The teenager consumed two Monster Energy Drinks within 24 hours. The victim's parents filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the beverage company that produces the drink. According to the autopsy report, the teenager died of cardiac arrhythmia due to caffeine toxicity. The victim's parents allege that Monster failed to inform consumers of the risks associated with drinking the beverage.

The United States Food and Drug Administration said Monster Energy Drink may be responsible for five fatalities and a non-fatal heart attack, dating back to 2004. A 24-ounce can of the energy drink has 240 milligrams of caffeine. This amount is much greater than the caffeine content in a 12-ounce soda. The agency noted that the beverage should not be consumed by children. Due to this incident, questions have been raised about the amount of caffeine in energy drinks.

A manufacturer should always ensure consumer safety. When products are thought to have caused injury or death, proof of negligence may be enough to hold a manufacturer, retailer or supplier liable. Negligence may be proved by evidence of mishandling or contamination before or after production or failure to warn consumers about the hazards connected with the product.

If negligence is proven, victims may be eligible for compensation. This may assist the victim with medical costs, treatment and pain and suffering. If a fatality occurs, a wrongful death lawsuit may be filed to receive compensation for funeral expenses, loss of companionship and pain and suffering.

Source: NBC Chicago, "FDA: 5 Reported Deaths with Monster Drink Link," David Dishneau and Matthew Perrone, Oct. 22, 2012

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