Red Bull Energy Drink’s Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Written by James P. Nevin
The beverage giant Red Bull is facing its first wrongful death lawsuit, with the family of the deceased seeking $85 million in damages. Brooklyn father Cory Terry, 33, died during a basketball game after downing the caffeine-laden beverage – his relatives are blaming the world’s largest energy drink maker. Terry was said to be in good health and consumed Red Bull almost daily, his death left behind a 13 year old son.
Caffeine is the world’s most widely used drug. A stimulant, studies show it increases alertness, awareness and, if taken at the right time, may improve athletic performance. Energy drink users feel its kick faster than that of coffee, which contains about same amount of caffeine, because the beverages are typically swallowed quickly or are sold as concentrates.
The complaint filed mentions nine other deaths which have been linked to Red Bull. The Food and Drug Administration has been investigating Red Bull and other energy drinks, such as Monster and 5 Hour Energy, after a slew of complaints in recent years. In just 4 years the number of ER visits tied to energy drinks has doubled, bringing the average to 20,000 visits nationwide in 2011, according to ABC News.
Of the 20,000 visits, 42% were cases involved other stimulants, such as Adderall, Ritalin or alcohol. The other 58% were simply from drinking the energy beverage itself. Hospitals cited symptoms such as fatigue, dizziness, chest pain and more in relation to energy drink consumption. The FDA has confirmed 18 deaths linked to energy drinks.
Red Bull didn’t comment on the case but told the New York Daily News that it’s sold 35 billion cans in 165 countries over the last 25 years “because health authorities across the world have concluded that Red Bull Energy Drink is safe to consume.” Attorney for the family of the deceased is calling for the FDA to take a closer look at energy drinks and to order warning labels on related beverages moving forward.
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