Energy drink cleared in teen heart attack
A Riverside County, Calif., jury has found that the maker of Monster Energy drinks was not responsible for a Texas teenager’s debilitating heart attack, the latest legal victory for the company, which has been the target of numerous product-liability lawsuits.
Cody Bledsoe sued Corona-based Monster Beverage Corp. in 2014, saying the company’s energy drink was responsible for a heart attack he suffered the year before when he was 18. The heart attack caused brain damage that Bledsoe’s attorneys said limit his ability to work and has led to high medical costs.
Monster has been hit with numerous similar lawsuits before, though this is the first time a case has gone all the way to a jury trial. Others have been settled or, more often, dismissed. Marc Miles, an attorney for Monster, said the jury in this case deliberated for just 15 minutes before finding Thursday that the energy drink did not lead to Bledsoe’s heart attack.
The company has argued in numerous cases that its products are safe, noting that they contain less caffeine than many other beverages.
A 16-ounce Monster Energy drink contains 160 milligrams of caffeine, while a 16ounce Starbucks coffee contains 310 milligrams, according to the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest.