Energy Drinks in the Personal Injury Spotlight

The cases are ongoing, but there has been a growing concern regarding the health effects of certain energy drinks on children and young adults, who are among the most frequent consumer of the product. Energy drink manufacturers are being criticized for marketing their products to this segment of the population knowing it can do them harm. According to a Fort Worth injury lawyer from The Benton Law Firm, experiences like this could potentially lead to a wrongful death lawsuit.

Monster Energy Drink in particular is the subject of at least two recent wrongful death lawsuits in which a 14-year-old girl and 19-year-old man died of cardiac arrest after consuming copious amounts of the drink. The manufacturer of the energy drink Monster Beverage Corporation maintains that when taken responsibly, the product is harmless even for children. However, the large doses of caffeine as well as other stimulants present in 2 ounces of Monster makes this a debatable point. One can of Monster is equivalent to 7 cups of coffee, and it is noteworthy there were in excess of 20,000 energy drink-related emergency hospitalizations in 2011.

The problem with bring a personal injury lawsuit against the manufacturer of an energy drink is that there are no regulations in place requiring them to list the amount of ingredients because they are classified as supplements. However, the way the product is marketed by Monster in combination with its potency makes it highly dangerous for the youth and the young with prolonged and regular use.

If you or a family member has sustained adverse health effects or death from the consumption of energy drinks, the time has come to make the manufacturers accountable. They should cease marketing their products to the young when their products are labeled as not recommended for them. Failure to do so is a breach of their duty of care to their consumers. Consult with a personal injury lawyer with the experience and resources to help you build your case.

Defining Product Liability Damages under Personal Injury Law

Personal injury is just one of the aspects of product liability, although it is often used to refer to how a product defect has adversely affected the plaintiff. The term “damages” is also widely used in civil tort cases but most people only have a vague idea of what it is.

There are two types of damages: compensatory and punitive. According to the website of law firm Ravid & Associates, P.C. in Detroit, compensatory damages refer to actual costs to the plaintiff as a result of the product defect such as medical expenses, property repair or replacement, loss of income and disability expenditure. Punitive damages, as the term implies, is a type of punishment for the defendant for causing injury in the first place, and includes loss of consortium as well as the ever-popular pain and suffering.

Damages are always expressed in financial terms, and it is determined based on a set of factors that has been established from previous cases. Instances where permanent lifestyle changes become necessary complicates a claim. Some states may have a cap on punitive damages, and some may not allow it under certain scenarios. Habush Habush & Rottier S.C.® would know these differences and be able to communicate them with you. They could also help you determine whether or not your claim is valid.

Determining what would essentially be “payment” to alleviate whatever suffering and losses that accrued to a particular plaintiff because of a defendant’s wrongful act is not always easy. In most cases, punitive damages are much more subjective because in general a jury decides on fair value for something non-quantifiable such as pain and suffering. In contrast, compensatory damages are based on economic losses that can be quantified, such as medical bills. In consequence, punitive damages fluctuate wildly depending on the type of jury, and are the source of much debate on appeal.

It is in the best interest of the plaintiff that the amount of damages is not disputed because it means a quicker process. It is therefore essential that the lawyer chosen has experience in handling personal injury cases in the pertinent state because he or she would know what amount and type of damages is reasonable and unlikely to be challenged.