Could Your Energy Drink Kill You? Maybe.

Energy drinks may help you get through the day - or they might just kill you. Here's what you should know about energy drinks and wrongful death lawsuits.

Caffeinated Energy Drinks Are Dangerous.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has energy drinks under investigation in the wake of several reported deaths related to their consumption, including that of a 14 year old girl who died of cardiac arrest after consuming 2 energy drinks within a 24 hour period.

Some energy drinks contain as much as 170 milligrams of caffeine in 16 ounces of fluid. By comparison, the average cup of tea has about 40 milligrams. Critics say that energy drinks don't do enough to warn consumers of risks of caffeine toxicity.

What Is Caffeine Toxicity?

Caffeine may be the most widely used legal drug in the world - but it's still a drug. That means that it's possible to overdose on it if you ingest so much that it becomes "toxic" to your body. Caffeine overdose, or toxicity, generally occurs after you consume more than the maximum recommended daily intake of 300 milligrams.

Like any drug, however, the risk of overdose varies with the user. Some habitual caffeine users might be able to tolerate more than double that amount in a day while someone who rarely uses it could get sick after only 200 milligrams. Some of the symptoms of caffeine overdose include:

  • dizziness
  • headache
  • fainting
  • heart palpitations
  • trouble breathing
  • convulsions
  • confusion
  • hallucinations

Children Are Especially At Risk.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that children and teenagers don't consume energy drinks at all. Energy drinks are currently heavily marketed to teenagers, particularly those who are active or looking for an extra pick-up during their day. The AAP says that the stimulants in energy drinks, particularly caffeine, can actually harm a child or teen's developing neurological or cardiovascular system.

Wrongful Death Lawsuits Against Energy Drinks Are Rising.

When someone dies because of someone else's negligence, the relatives of the deceased can bring a type of personal injury claim known as "wrongful death" against the negligent party. Currently, at least one lawsuit against an energy drink company is making its way through the courts right now, alleging that the death of a 19-year-old male was caused by his daily consumption of the drink.

The lawsuit points out that the energy drink involved contains not only caffeine, but guarana and taurine. Guarana is a plant extract that contains additional caffeine. Taurine is an amino acid that can affect cardiac muscles. The lawsuit contends that not only does the energy drink downplay how these 3 substances might interact together it also aggressively markets to teens and young adults with no regard for the danger.

If you suspect that an energy drink might have caused the cardiac arrest or caffeine-related death of a relative, contact an attorney like those at Spiegal And Barbato LLP today to discuss the possibility of a lawsuit against the company.