Sales of energy drinks popular with teens, adolescents, and young adults have soared in recent years. Since 2014, sales of energy drinks are up by nearly 7 percent making up nearly $10 billion in yearly sales. While this growth is less than the explosive double-digit growth rates some brands of energy drinks experienced around 2010, but it still represents extremely healthy growth in the industry. Furthermore, per capita consumption of these drinks increased to 22 eight-ounce servings per a year. However, there are obviously many individuals who consume significantly more of these beverages.
Sales have grown despite questions regarding the effects these beverages can have on one’s body. Furthermore, there are reports of individuals suffering severe medical consequences, including heart attacks and other pulmonary effects, after drinking the beverages. In fact, there have been a number of lawsuits filed against popular energy drink makers that have resulted in settlements. A November 2015 JAMA study further highlights the effects that energy drinks can have on the human body.
However, before we proceed any further, please keep in mind that any dollar values or results mentioned on this page are based on the particular facts, circumstances, and operative law present for that matter. Your facts and circumstances will likely be different which typically leads to a different result. Furthermore, an attorney can only provide specific guidance for you matter, including a potential recovery, after engaging in a fact-intensive analysis. Furthermore, the result in any personal injury trial ultimately lies with the jury which is free to believe or disbelieve evidence based on their own assessments of credibility.
JAMA Study Highlights Effects of Energy Drinks on the Human Body
In one study titled A Randomized Trial of Cardiovascular Responses to Energy Drink Consumption in Healthy Adults clinical researchers compared the effects of a placebo and an energy drink on young adults who were in good health, non-smokers, and not taking any medications. The study required the participants to consume a beverage that could be either 16 oz. an energy drink or 16 oz. of a placebo. The placebo was designed to be indistinguishable from the actual energy drink. The drink was to be consumed within 5 minutes and the study was repeated on a second day.
The results were compared to a baseline vitals report conducted for each participant. Individuals who consumed the placebo showed little to no change in their vital signs as compared to the baseline result. However, individuals who consumed the actual energy drink showed numerous physical changes. These individuals had increases in:
- Systolic blood pressure
- Diastolic blood pressure
- Average blood pressure
- Norepinephrine (stress hormone)
- Blood-caffeine levels
Despite these changes the researcher did not find any meaningful performance difference in physical or cognitive tasks. However, the researchers did note the changes to one’s body are likely to increase the likelihood of a heart attack. An FDA adverse event records show at least 34 deaths related to the energy drinks and other high-caffeine drinks as numerous “undisclosed injuries” that resulted in 54 hospitalizations. Furthermore, one study found a link between consumption of energy drinks and the incidence of TBI sports injuries among adolescents.
Recoveries After An Energy Drink Injury or Death
There are unfortunately no known jury verdicts or settlements that have occurred within Pennsylvania. However, results from other states can be used to prove at least some guidance. However it is important to note that decisions made in other jurisdictions are not typically binding on the court. However, other litigated matters regarding this issue include:
- 14-year-old Maryland girl – A young teen from Maryland went into cardiac arrest after drinking two 24 oz. cans of a popular energy drink over a 2 4 hour period. The energy drink company opposed the characterization that the death was caused by “caffeine toxicity” and blamed a pre-existing heart condition. No details about this settlement were released however the attorney in the matter characterized the settlement as “substantial dollars.”
- 19-year-old California teen – This teen’s parents claimed he died after drinking two cans of a popular energy drink every day for three years. His official cause of death is cardiac arrhythmia and cardiomyopathy. No details regarding this settlement have been released.
- Kansas City man – According to his wife, a Kansas City man collapsed and died after consuming one energy drink a day for a two week period. This matter has reportedly settled, however details regarding the settlement have yet to be released.
Unfortunately a hard number is not available regarding what these matters have settled for due to confidentiality agreements. However, an experienced personal injury lawyer may be able to provide more guidance after becoming informed of the facts and circumstances surrounding the injury or death.
Rely on Our Personal Injury Experience for Energy Drink Heart Attacks & Deaths
The experienced Philadelphia personal injury lawyers of The Reiff Law Firm are proud to fight for injured Philadelphians and Pennsylvanians. We are dedicated to fighting on behalf of seriously injured individuals to hold the responsible party accountable by recovering compensation. To schedule a free and confidential legal consultation call our firm at (215) 246-9000 today or contact us online.