Is an extra five hours of energy really worth your life? That’s the question consumers must ask themselves now that reports are surfacing about the deadly risk associated with 5-hour Energy shots. According to the New York Times, the popular energy shot may be responsible for at least 13 deaths in the last four years.
In addition to these energy drink deaths, another 90 people experienced serious injuries and side effects after drinking the highly caffeinated beverage, and one-third of them required hospitalization. The Food and Drug Administration is currently conducting an investigation into these reports. Our personal injury lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm will continue to closely follow these energy death developments.
In addition to the risk of death, other serious injuries such as convulsions and heart attacks have resulted from consumption of 5-hour energy shots. One woman even reportedly suffered a spontaneous abortion, according to FDA records.
Energy shots and energy drinks are extremely profitable for manufacturers, who collectively brought in about $9 billion last year in sales. But consumers willing to spend money for an extra jolt of energy are putting their health at risk. This is not the first time a high-caffeine drink has been tied to deaths and other adverse side effects. In fact, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration reports that more than 13,000 people visited the emergency room last year for injuries related to energy drinks.
Competing energy products such as Monster Beverage have also been linked to fatal health problems. In the past three years, at least five people died after drinking Monster Energy drinks. Other serious side effects include vomiting and abnormal heart rates.
Time.com recently reported the wrongful death of a 14-year-old girl who went into cardiac arrest just hours after drinking two 24-oz. Monster Energy drinks over the course of a day. She died less than a week later. The victim’s mother is suing the energy drink company, after an autopsy report linked the death to caffeine toxicity.
Part of the problem is that the FDA does not regulate the amount of caffeine in Monster Energy and other popular energy drinks. These drinks are classified as dietary supplements rather than beverages, so the amount of caffeine does not need to be listed for consumers to see. Also, these energy drinks do not need to stay within the limits that are considered safe by the FDA. So while a 12-oz soft drinks may only contain just over 70mg of caffeine, the same sized energy drink may contain up to 500 mg of caffeine.
Our product liability lawyers are deeply concerned over the deaths, heart
attacks, abdominal issues, and other potentially life-threatening side
effects associated with energy drinks like Monster Energy and 5-hour energy
shots. Energy drink manufacturers need to take responsibility for the
harm that they continue to cause in order to reap a profit. Public safety
is paramount to financial rewards, and consumers should not have to put
their lives at risk for an extra energy boost.
Some lawmakers, including U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, are calling on federal officials to place caffeine limits on energy drinks and shots. In the meantime, these drinks will continue to be on the market, free from regulation and consumers will continue to pay the price.
Lawsuits have already been filed on behalf of consumers harmed by energy drinks such as Monster Energy. If you suffered serious energy drink side effects, you need to contact a product liability attorney immediately to learn more about your legal rights.