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Energy Drink Kidney Failure Risk Result in Lawsuit Against Monster Energy

  • Written by: Irvin Jackson
  • 7 Comments

After regularly drinking four cans of Monster Energy per day, a lawsuit filed against the manufacturer of the popular beverage alleges that side effects of the energy drink caused kidney failure among an Arizona man.

The complaint was filed against Monster Beverage Corp. by Robert Grim, who indicates that he was diagnosed with stage 4 kidney failure from Monster energy, and now requires dialysis treatment and is awaiting a kidney transplant, according to a report by The Daily Beast.

Grim claims that he consumed about four cans of Monster Energy every day for about 10 years, which is not uncommon given the manufacturer’s aggressive marketing of the highly caffeinated beverage in a manner that has led many consumers to believe it is the same as a common soft drink or cup of coffee. However, each can actually contains substantially higher levels of caffeine and other stimulants, which have been linked to an increasing number of reports involving severe health risks from energy drinks.

In December 2014, Grim indicates that he was driving to work when he began to feel ill and had to pull over. His condition gradually worsened and he was eventually diagnosed with kidney failure from Monster Energy, according to the lawsuit.

The case is one of a growing number of lawsuits over Monster Energy and other popular energy drinks, such as Red Bull, Rockstar and others, which allege that manufacturers failed to warn about the risk of heart attacks, strokes, kidney problems and sudden death linked to the beverages.

The Monster Energy kidney failure lawsuit accuses the manufacturer of designing and distributing a defective and unreasonably dangerous product, withholding risk information from consumers and dodging FDA regulations for years, by classifying the drink as a dietary supplement.

As a result of the effort to escape FDA oversight for years, Monster Energy drinks were never adequately tested and did not provide proper warnings about the potential health risks for years, according to the lawsuit.

Following concerns about the health risks, and heavy criticism from consumer advocates, Monster agreed to market it as a beverage regulated by the FDA in 2013, however serious questions have been raised about the safety of the drink and the lack of sufficient warnings for consumers.

Energy drink manufacturers have compared the amount of caffeine in their products to that of hot beverages sold in coffee houses, but the products are often packaged in very large sizes and they are not sold in controlled environments like coffee shops, which typically would not serve young children.

Monster, Rockstar, Red Bull and other popular energy drinks are widely available in convenience stores, often located next to traditional soft drinks and packaged in very similar cans.

Although most individuals believe them to be safe, often consuming large numbers of the energy drinks in short periods of times, many contain pharmaceutical grade caffeine and additional caffeine from other natural sources. This much caffeine in one serving can cause a person’s heart to beat rapidly, increase blood pressure, or other nervous, digestive or cardiovascular system side effects, health experts warn.

Some energy drinks in many of the popular lines contain up to 400 mg of caffeine per can. In comparison, a cup of coffee typically has around 100 mg of caffeine.

Caffeine poisoning can occur in adults at levels higher than 400 mg a day; however children under 12 can experience caffeine poisoning at only 2.5 mg per 2.2 pounds of body weight.

The FDA is currently investigating health concerns surrounding the drinks, after a number of adverse event reports were submitted in recent years connecting energy drinks to severe injuries and deaths.

Amid aggressive marketing by the manufacturers, energy drink sales increased 240% between 2004 and 2009, and the number of caffeine overdose emergency room visits increased from 1,128 in 2005 to 16,055 in 2008. Approximately 56% of those visits involved individuals between the ages of 12 and 25 years.

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7 comments

  1. Teresa Reply

    My son started drinking monster drinks everyday when he was a freshman to Senior fear in Highschool. The first time I got a call to get him to the hospital cause he was throwing up green stuff and in pain.They couldn’t figure out what was going on. He was a football player, track and summer volleyball player. He ended up in the hospital a couple more times and in his freshman year of college, the doctor said his kidneys were an issue. Another doctor said he was to young to have the issues he had and my son had high blood pressure. My son is in stage 3 and has all kinds of medication. There is no history of kidney problems and I am angry at myself for providing him with these monster drinks before and after games,track meets,and thinking it would help his performance in the Texas heat. These drinks need to be stopped.I was not informed about the contents and what the ramifications would be.I should have been protecting my son, not giving him toxic drinks.

  2. Ashley Reply

    This is where people don’t get it and are ignorant. They say if you have sensitivity to caffeine or heart problems or any other health issues SHOULD NOT CONSUME ENERGY DRINKS!!! it’s not the company’s fault that people don’t listen, don’t read labels, and don’t take warnings. They are not dangerous drinks if consumed as directed. No more then 2 a day, now I have been drinking monsters for years 1-2 a day and I have no side effects from it. I also drink water as well with it. Don’t blame the company for your stupidity. They give warnings, there are warnings out there. there is ingredient labels so people can read and see if this drink is right for you don’t be lazy and read the labels simple right? Do people listen no. Just like cigarette s there are warnings with that. there is health risks with that as well do people listen and take the warnings no they don’t it’s your choice not the company’s they make it and sell it and it’s up to the people the choices they make of how to consume it. I’m a HUGE monster energy fan I love there drinks and I’m gonna continue to consume moderately and directed BY THE COMPANY!!! so they can stay in busy and keep providing this drink for the people who do listen. MANY LOVES TO MONSTER ENERGY!!!!!! I’ll fight to keep these drinks going.

  3. Tatanya Reply

    Monster energy drinks are bad for business

  4. Angel Reply

    It’s all good until it’s your kidneys that are failing, then you will be singing another tune. You have drank 2 a day for years, you can guarantee that you will have side effects at some point. That is way too much. You think others should know better but it’s the pot calling the kettle black. You don’t think it would happen to you and if it did, then you wouldn’t think it was your fault because you only drank “two a day for years”. Anything that we consume should not be harmful to us. Companies should not market products as performance enhancers if they will eventually and inevitably land you in the hospital when consumed in large amounts for an extended period of time. How can you defend a corporation that is feeding you poison? Yet you are willing to call others stupid for consuming too much of the product, as if your 2 a day habit is much healthier and better informed. That’s ridiculous.

  5. Emma Reply

    I, too, have consumed Monster energy drinks for about 6 months. I stopped drinking them when my kidneys started hurting. I also drank up to 6 bottles of water in conjunction with the 1-2 cans a day. I vowed never to drink them again. Unfortunately, my friend gave me a cold drink in a glass that I though was sprit. After taking 2 swallows those old memories of kidney pains started to service. My sides started to hurt. Of course i asked her what did she give me. After inspecting the bottle it read “Mutant super soda, white lightening, zero sugar with the Monster logo in the center. I was mortified. It was too late to say ” I don’t drink those anymore.” I was already hurting. Im drinking tons of water to flush it out of my system. I have a doctor’s appointment on Monday. I am really hoping that my kidneys are not damaged.

  6. None Reply

    Were your kidneys damaged?

  7. David Reply

    I worked as an E-Tech in the oil field business for a year. We would frequently drink energy drinks throughout the day to keep alert during our 12-16 hour shifts. After a year of doing this I became lightheaded and began to ha e abdominal pain. Now, 2 years later, I am in poor health with heart failure and kidney disease.

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