The Monster Beverage Corporation is on shaky ground after a lawsuit brought by the parents of a 14-year-old girl who died after drinking two cans of its energy drink. Stock share fell a record 16 percent on Monday after the lawsuit was announced.
Anais Fournier died last year after ingesting two cans of Monster Energy drink on back-to-back days. Her official cause of death was "caffeine toxicity," related to the 24-ounce cans she drank, which each contained 240 milligrams of caffeine. The popular energy drink has claimed to produce a "wicked mega hit that delivers twice the buzz of a regular energy drink," on its website.
The drink has also been tied to five deaths, and one non-fatal heart attack, reports by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Yet the Fournier's family attorney has reported that the drink has been linked to six deaths and 15 hospitalizations since 2009.
"As with any reports of a death or injury the agency receives, we take them very seriously and investigate diligently," FDA spokeswoman Shelly Burgess said in an official statement.
The Fournier family is mourning the loss of its little girl and blames the company for not properly labeling anywhere the possible dangers associated with the beverage. The company, however, has maintained its innocence and has said its drinks are not responsible for any deaths or hospitalizations.
"Monster is unaware of any fatality anywhere that has been cause by its drinks," the company said in an official statement. The company has promised to fight the Fournier's lawsuit with all it can.
Energy drinks have always been controversial, with the amount of caffeine they include. For example, the amount of caffeine in a Monster Energy drink, according to reports, is more than seven times the amount of the caffeine in a 12-ounce soda.