Can energy drinks cause wrongful death? The answer may surprise you.
Wrongful Death Lawsuits Involving Energy Drinks
Caffeine is incredibly popular – people consume it all over the world. There are coffee shops on every corner, energy drink displays in every gas station and even “energy shots” that you can buy in the checkout lane of your favorite supermarket. But can energy drinks cause wrongful death?
Unfortunately, energy drinks can, and do, cause wrongful death. Typically, these energy drinks contain more than just caffeine, which is the most widely consumed stimulant on earth. It’s not necessarily the caffeine that causes problems, although it can be; it’s the added ingredients that can prove toxic to some people.
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Caffeine and Other Ingredients in Energy Drinks
Some energy drinks have hundreds of milligrams of caffeine in every serving – and that’s a huge contrast to the amounts that you’ll find in everyday drinks like these:
- 12-ounce soft drinks contain 30 to 40 milligrams of caffeine
- 8 ounces of green or black tea contain 30 to 50 milligrams of caffeine
- 8 ounces of coffee contains 80 to 100 milligrams of caffeine
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says that 400 milligrams of caffeine a day can be dangerous and pose health risks to otherwise healthy people – so that means if you have a few cups of coffee and an energy drink, you could be overdoing it and putting yourself at risk. You may know if you’ve over-consumed caffeine; you could experience the following symptoms:
- Elevated heart rate
- Upset stomach
- Feelings of unhappiness
The FDA also says that toxic effects can hit hard with the rapid consumption of about 1,200 milligrams of caffeine – including seizures, damage and death. According to the FDA, caffeine “supplements” often contain concentrated caffeine in powdered or liquid forms – and they come in containers with multiple servings, which leaves it up to the consumer to dole out a “safe” amount. The FDA also says “The risk of caffeine overdose increases as the concentration of caffeine in the product increases, meaning even small dosages of a highly concentrated product could lead to dangerous effects. Just one teaspoon of pure powdered caffeine can contain the same amount of caffeine as 28 cups of coffee.”
That can be lethal for some people.
What About Additional Ingredients in Energy Drinks?
There are several potentially harmful ingredients in popular energy drinks. Over the past several years, many studies have come out saying that these ingredients – and several well-known energy drinks themselves – are harmful to human health. In addition to the high levels of caffeine tucked in every can, these drinks may include:
- Too many B vitamins. Some B vitamins are good for your health – but an excess of them can cause liver toxicity, nerve damage and a whole host of other conditions. One popular energy drink contains 200 percent of a person’s recommended daily allowance for niacin, for example, which can be dangerous.
- Taurine is an amino acid that supports neurological development, and it performs other important functions in the body, too. However, too much taurine (especially when it’s combined with other ingredients) can cause extremely low blood pressure and may lead to other adverse health effects – including death.
- Ginseng, Guarana and Gingko Biloba. Each of these ingredients is relatively safe – they’re all herbal substances. However, they can become toxic when they’re combined with caffeine and sugar. These ingredients can cause high blood pressure, heart palpitations, kidney failure, headaches and a variety of other unwanted side effects.
Can You File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against an Energy Drink Manufacturer?
There have been several lawsuits filed against energy drink manufacturers that have claimed wrongful death. These suits have been filed increasingly over the past decade, with some of the deaths involving people as young as 19 years old.
If you’ve lost a loved one and you believe that an energy drink was responsible, we may be able to help you. Call our office at 818-230-8380 now for a free case review – you’ll talk to a caring and compassionate professional who will evaluate the situation and let you know whether you’re likely eligible to file a claim.