Energy Drink Wrongful Death Suit Set to go to Trial

OAKLAND, Calif., March 27, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- 19 year-old Alex Morris suffered a cardiac arrest and died on July 1, 2012. The Alameda County, California Coroner determined that the cause of death was cardiac arrhythmia and cardiomyopathy. The autopsy and toxicity reports confirm that there were no illegal drugs or alcohol involved. Alex consumed at least two 16 oz. cans of Monster Energy Drink in the 24 hours preceding his death, and at least two 16 oz. cans of Monster Energy Drink per day during the three years preceding his death. He started consuming Monster Energy Drink on a regular basis when he was a minor. The Alex Morris case is the second wrongful death case to go to trial against an energy drink company, Monster settled a previous case during the trial.

On April 27, 2015, attorneys R. Rex Parris and Kevin Goldberg are heading to court, armed with stacks of scientific studies from dozens of medical organizations, scientific journals and FDA reports. The case will be heard in the Superior Court of California for Alameda County before a jury. The Honorable Ronni MacClaren will be presiding in the case that will be heard in Department 25, Administration Building, 1221 Oak Street, Oakland, CA 94612.

The suit alleges that Monster Energy "failed to warn consumers of the true risks, scope and severity of potential side effects of the Monster drinks that Alex Morris consumed such as increased risk of stroke, blood clots, heart attack and cardiac arrhythmia."

The lawsuit was filed by the same team of lawyers that filed a lawsuit on behalf of the family of Anais Fournier, a 14 year old girl who died after consuming Monster Energy Drinks in December 2011. The team includes Kevin Goldberg, of Goldberg, Finnegan & Mester, LLC; Alexander R. Wheeler and Jason Fowler at the R. Rex Paris Law Firm; and Michael Brown, Michael Blumenfeld and Joe Hovermill at Miles & Stockbridge P.C.

"Consumers need to know that these energy drinks can be dangerous, and even lethal, especially to young people and people with heart problems," said Alexander R. Wheeler, an attorney at the R. Rex Parris Law Firm. "It's especially important that consumers learn about these risks because the energy drink companies do not put appropriate warnings on the cans or their advertisements telling people about these dangers."

"Our team is committed to holding energy drink companies accountable for the injuries and deaths that their products are causing to young people," said Goldberg. "We believe that it is important to get the word out to the public and especially to parents of young people, that energy drinks can be lethal, particularly to anyone with an undiagnosed, underlying heart condition. The lawsuit alleges strict product liability, failure to warn and negligence in the design, sale and manufacturing of the product, among other claims."

The lawsuit was brought by Alex Morris's mother, Paula Morris, who explains that "it is hard for all of Alex's family and friends to relive the terrible moments of his death, but we cannot be silent while more seemingly-healthy young adults like Alex are putting their lives at risk, and we do not want any other parents to experience the devastation of losing their child." Ms. Morris explained that in his too short life, he had an incredible impact on all those who knew him. "Alex was compassionate, funny, smart, but most of all he lived a life full of love and courage. He was always there for his friends in hard times, and always spoke out for what was right. We know that he would be beside us now calling on Monster to be held accountable, and advocating for more research and regulation of these drinks." Alex is survived by family members Paula Morris, Harvey Yaw and Cory Pohley.

Alex was born and raised in San Francisco where the City Attorney sued Monster Beverage Corporation for marketing to kids, and said, "Monster Energy is unique among energy drink makers for the extent to which it targets children and youth in its marketing despite the known risks its products pose to young people's health and safety."

"Despite a continuing barrage of mounting scientific evidence that Energy Drinks are dangerous, they continue to be marketed and sold to teenagers and young adults, without any significant regulation by the Food & Drug Administration," added Wheeler.

"Nothing can bring Alex back, but we can tell the world that these drinks can be harmful, and our hope is that discovery in this case will shed light on Monster Beverage Corporation's practices regarding how they market to teenagers, and what they do or do not tell the public and FDA about the safety of their products," added Goldberg.



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