Dustin Hood drank 3 1/2, 24-ounce cans of Monster Energy before playing basketball in 2015. Shortly thereafter he collapsed face first on the concrete court and was rushed to the hospital, where he died from an irregular heartbeat triggered by “caffeine overload,” according to the lawsuit.
The suit claims Hood consumed about as much caffeine as there is in 14 cans of Coca-Cola.
Dustin’s father is seeking unspecified damages and did not reveal any additional details about his son’s death or the lawsuit against Monster Energy. However, he noted that many other people had suffered a heart attack following “acute consumption” of the beverage.
In December 2011, 14-year-old Anais Fournier died from caffeine toxicity after consuming two 24-oz. cans of Monster. Anais’ family filed a lawsuit (Case No. RIC 1215551) against Monster Energy in October 2012 for failing to warn about the product’s dangers.
A February 2012 study published in the journal Pediatrics found that children and young adults who consume energy drinks are at an increased risk for developing the following serious side effects:
- High blood pressure
- Caffeine toxicity / poisoning
- Heart palpitations
- Cardiac arrest
“The known and unknown pharmacology of agents included in such drinks, combined with reports of toxicity, raises concern for potentially serious adverse effects in association with energy drink use,” the researchers said. “Pediatricians need to be aware of the possible effects of energy drinks in vulnerable populations and screen for consumption to educate families.”
Another study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in November 2015 found that young adults who consumed just one 16-ounce energy drink showed a rise in blood pressure and an increase in stress hormone responses within 30 minutes, which may raise the risk of heart attack. The study’s findings were presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2015.