Real Water Liver Damage Lawsuit Ends in $3 Billion Verdict

Following a 2021 FDA warning, Real Water was removed from the market due to toxic levels of hydrazine, used in rocket fuel.

A Las Vegas jury has ordered the makers of “Real Water” to pay $3 billion in damages to eight plaintiffs who suffered liver failure from toxic chemicals in the bottled water products, which were removed from the market several years ago.

The verdict stems from a lawsuit brought on behalf of five children and three adults who were impacted by an outbreak of liver failure linked to “Real Water” in 2020, alleging that the bottled water products contained dangerous levels of hydrazine, which is a toxic chemical used in rocket fuel.

The chemical was blamed for causing cases of cases of non-viral hepatitis among individuals who drank “Real Water”, leading to liver illness and the sudden onset of liver failure. In addition, inhaling the hydrazine vapors can lead to severe burns of the eyes, notes, and respiratory system. When absorbed through the skin it can become a neurotoxin and impair the brain and nervous system.

Real Water Health Problems

Real Water marketed its products as alkaline water that was a healthy alternative to tap water. Advertisements claimed it was “good for children” and the “healthiest drinking water available.” However, the manufacturer ceased operations and stopped producing the bottled water after it was linked to liver damage injuries.

In March 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a Real Water health warning, which urged the public not to use or serve Real Water.

The lawsuit heard by the Las Vegas jury indicated the children, ranging in ages from seven months old to five years old, were flown to a hospital in Salt Lake City for liver transplants. Once they stopped drinking the Real Water, the health problems receded. The plaintiffs also experienced liver malfunction, extreme nausea and fatigue.

At least 21 illnesses and one death were linked to Real Water in Nevada and California before a Real Water recall was announced and the company was shut down.

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After a two-week trial, the jury delivered a verdict last week, awarding the plaintiffs $98 million in compensatory damages, and $3 billion in punitive damages. It is the largest award by a jury in Nevada to date.

Real water has been subject to multiple lawsuits in recent years, all tied to injuries stemming from liver failure and leading to one death.

This is the third trial that resulted in damages against Real Water. In February, a jury awarded $130 million in damages to five people who were injured after consuming Real Water.

In October 2023, a jury awarded  $228 million in a separate case over injuries from drinking Real Water. The verdict included $200 million in punitive damages. Plaintiffs in that case argued Real Water hired unqualified employees and did not properly test the water.

The company claimed it was unaware of the hydrazine in the water and said it drew the water from municipal water sources. However, a federal lawsuit settled in 2021 claimed Real Water had not properly cleaned and sanitized water tanks where they mix processed municipal tap water with E2 Concentrate, potentially leading to chemical and microbial contamination.

The makers of Real Water, which had been based in Las Vegas since 1998, filed for bankruptcy in 2021 amid the pending lawsuits.

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