There is as large a range of products liability suits as there are products on the New Jersey market. Recently, a 14-year old girl drank two 24-ounce energy drinks and then the next day went into cardiac arrest before dying six days later. Apparently there is such a thing as “caffeine toxicity” as this was listed on the teenager’s death certificate as the cause of death.
It is estimated that the girl consumed 480 milligrams of caffeine – which far exceeds any recommended dose. This is apparently as much caffeine as one would find in 14 cans of Coca-Cola.
It’s debatable just how much caffeine anyone should drink. However, the problem with such energy drinks may go beyond just the caffeine. One doctor was quoted as saying: “Between the caffeine, the sugar, its effect on blood pressure, potential adverse effects, I think it’s really difficult to justify a case for children, young adults to be using these substances right now.”
The rate of caffeine overdoses reported in emergency rooms more than ten times annually. This may be in part that so many energy drinks are specifically marketed towards teenagers.
Another problem with the way such energy drinks are sold is that the amount of caffeine contained in each drink is not required to be listed upon the label. Either due to an oversight or a lack of knowledge concerning the dangers, the FDA regulates the amount of caffeine in soda-pop but not in energy drinks.
Sadly, legislators are often behind in regulating products that contain potential hazards. Attention concerning such dangers often does not arise until attorneys and clients successfully litigate product liability lawsuits against the manufacturer.
Source: Today Health, “Teen girl dies of ‘caffeine toxicity’ after downing 2 energy drinks,” March 21, 2012