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Facts and Caffeine Drink Lawsuits

There are two words in the English language that are spelled with all the vowels in order: abstemious and facetious. To this day, I am still trying to figure out why “and sometimes y was part of my education. Poor y!

John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich, had a habit of eating beef between two slices of toast, so he could eat without interruption of his card game. Hence… he is credited with “inventing” or naming the sandwich. Is that an example of necessity is the mother of invention?

It is reported that during the years that she was the First Lady, Jacqueline Kennedy smoked 3 packs of cigarettes a day. Which causes me to post this advertisement for cigarettes from the early 1960’s. You wouldn’t expect an NBA player today to be a spokesman, would you?


These three random items all serve as a prelude to a tragic sequence of events that has now led to a lawsuit. An Idaho man was found dead, after regularly consuming at least four energy drinks a day. ( His family has now filed suit against the manufacturers of Red Bull, NOS and Monster beverages.

The lawsuit alleges that the 25-year-old man was unaware of the risks associated with these drinks. It goes on to state that the manufacturers should also warn consumers not to use their products with alcohol or while exercising. The family also believes that the manufacturers should also warn that four 16 ounce drinks per day are too many. I have attached the article, because I am interested as to whether you think that the manufacturers are at fault.

I started out this blog by reciting the invention of a sandwich, because these caffeine drinks are basically a way that people, including students and truck drivers, are trying to stay awake and alert. Remember, Necessity is the mother of invention. Should they believe that it could have impact on their health? Which is also why I threw in that last fact about Jackie Kennedy. Maybe in those days, they really believed that cigarettes were a way to relax. But three packs?

Why did I originally mention the two words and my fascination with vowel placement? Really nothing related to the blog, but it does prepare you for some holiday Trivial Pursuit!


And for pic o’ day, here is another of my “ole faithful” holiday pictures. A curious Nativity scene for sure!

manger awry

Energy Drink Lawsuit

A reporter at reminds us that caffeine is a substance that is consistently underestimated. Unless, you rely on it in the morning and you have to go without for a morning.

In addition, extra doses of caffeine have become a true economic boom to certain manufacturers. When someone discusses the amount of caffeine that they consume each day, they usually recite the amount of coffee cups that they drank that morning. In fact, that may not be a real indication of too much caffeine.

As indicated in the pasted article, a Scottish reasearcher and his colleagues bought 20 expressos from different coffee shops. They found a tremendous deviation for caffeine content.

When someone opens a can of Monster Energy drink, they can hear the hissing sound normally reserved for a carbonated soda. When they pour it into a glass, it looks like a yellow ale. Its taste is syrupy sweet with almost a hint of the can. It’s logo and slogan tells us to “unleash the beast”. In 2011, it surpassed Red Bull beverage sales as the highest selling energy drink, according to Beverage Digest.

Maryland teen Anais Fournier drank a can of Monster Energy on December 16, 2011. The next evening she drank another can while with friends at a mall. Each contained 240 mg of caffeine. A few hours later, she was home watching a movie with family when she fell unconscious. At the hospital, she was in cardiac arrest. Six days later, she was taken off life support. According to the coroner, her cause of death was “cardiac arrhythmia due to caffeine toxicitycomplicating mirral valve regulation in the setting of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome”. The finding was that she had a pre-existing medical condition that was triggered by the caffeine.

The article lists several stories of injury and death that are connected to energy drinks. In November of 2012, the FDA released a comprehensive list of “adverse event reports” that were customer complaints over a period of eight years. These were events and deaths that people considered to be related to energy drinks.

Despite health concerns, there are few warnings related to these drinks. They are unregulated and sales are not restricted. Teenagers are being targeted to purchase and drink these drinks and there is no oversight or accountability. That’s why the full pasted article at the top of the blog, is a good start, if you want to read about the concerns of the FDA and the events being reported.

A lawsuit styled Wendy Crossland and Richard Fournier v. Monster Beverage has been filed in California. The lawsuit  against Monster  makes claims for strict product liability, failure to warn and negligence in the design, sale and manufacturing of the product.  Wendy Crossland’s mother was quoted as saying what a lot of people have been thinking, “I was shocked to learn that the FDA can regulate caffeine in a can of soda, but not these huge energy drinks. With their bright colors and names like Monster, Rockstar, and Full Throttle, these drinks are targeting teenagers. These drinks are death traps for the young… I just want Monster Energy to know their product can kill”.

It’s hard to post a pic o’ after that kind of serious topic. Still, I don’t want to end the blog on such a down note and negotiations are certainly a part of it!


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