Energy Drink Lawsuit: San Francisco City Attorney Sues Monster Beverage

May 9, 2013

The San Francisco City Attorney filed a lawsuit against Monster Beverage Corporation on May 6, 2013. According to Bloomberg News and the Associated Press, City Attorney Dennis Herrera sued the maker of Monster Energy drinks for California business practices violations, including promoting caffeinated beverages to youth. In addition to civil penalties for each act of unfair and unlawful competition, The People of the State of California v. Monster Beverage Corporation complaint seeks to stop Monster from improperly selling and marketing its drinks, to restore money acquired by Monster to its customers through any improper business practices under California law.

Other Lawsuits: Energy Drink Maker Fights to Prove Its Product Is Safe

The parents of a 14-year-old girl sued Monster in October 2012 due to the girl’s death from cardiac arrest after drinking two 24-ounce cans of Monster Energy drink in less than 24 hours. Monster is disputing the link to the teenager’s death to Monster’s energy drink. Monster has also sued the Dennis Herrera to keep San Francisco from taking enforcement actions against Monster Beverage and for claims he has violated the company’s free speech rights.

Investigations into Energy Drinks

Monster EnergyThe FDA is investigating the consequences of caffeine consumption in the products it oversees, including energy drinks. According to Bloomberg News, the FDA’s deputy commissioner said energy drinks are aggressively marketed to young people, which the San Francisco City Attorney also detailed in his lawsuit again Monster. A federal investigation by three members of the U.S. Congress found that teens and young adults are at the highest risk for heart problems related to caffeine. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Drug Abuse Warning Network, energy drink-related emergency room visits doubled from 10,000 to 20,000 between 2007 and 2011. The FDA says healthy adults should have no more than 400 milligrams of caffeine a day, which is roughly 4 to 5 cups of coffee a day, according to the FDA, but there is no level set for children.

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