Naples heart doctor concerned about energy drinks
NAPLES - The parents of a 14-year-old Hagerstown girl who died in December are suing the maker of Monster Energy Drink, claiming caffeine in the product contributed to her death.
The complaint was filed Friday in California Superior Court in Riverside. It says Anais Fournier went into cardiac arrest after drinking two, 24-ounce Monster Beverage Corp. drinks within a 24-hour period.
"The amount of caffeine if you add it up two, three of these drinks would one 1 or 2 pot of coffee," said Dr. Babak Bozorgnia, a Cardiac Electrophysiologist at NCH.
An autopsy found that Fournier died of cardiac arrhythmia due to caffeine toxicity that impeded her heart's ability to pump blood. She suffered from an inherited disorder that can weaken blood vessels.
Monster says it doesn't believe its beverages are responsible for Fournier's death. The company says it's not aware of any fatalities caused by its drinks. Monster says it will vigorously fight the lawsuit.
"I think this is unfortunately it takes a tragedy to bring attention to the scientific society."
Dr. Bozorgnia believes Fournier death will prompt more studies on a drink because the long-term effects are still not known.
He also warns parents to keep an eye on how many energy drinks their child is consuming.
“If you don't like to see your child drinking two pots of coffee, with the same token, don't have them drink these drinks.”