In 2011, shocked witnesses reported that healthy, active non-smoker Cory Terry collapsed after downing a can of Red Bull during a pickup basketball game in a local school gym. The official cause of death? A condition called idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM)–which, in layman’s terms, means that Terry’s heart stopped.
Two years after the untimely death of 33-year-old construction worker Cory Terry, the makers of Red Bull are up against their first wrongful death suit. According to attorney Ilya Novofastovsky, the drink is “more dangerous than…Red Bull lets on,” and should be seriously reevaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The complaint filed against Red Bull by Terry’s grandmother goes on to cite nine fatalities that have been linked to the consumption of the fizzy beverage, especially for teenagers and active adults.
Initially, Terry’s grandmother filed a complaint against the city of Brooklyn, claiming that there were no life-saving devices in the gym and that the ambulance took over 40 minutes to arrive. However, that case is still pending, and the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death suit in New York is drawing ever closer.
Perhaps the most surprising element of the recent Red Bull debacle is the fact that it didn’t happen sooner. Monster Energy and 5 Hour Energy Shots have both collectively been blamed for the death of over 15 people, and are currently under investigation. Between 2004 and 2012 alone, Red Bull has been cited in 21 reports submitted to Food and Drug Administration. Doctors and hospitals have connected the popular beverage with an exhaustive list of symptoms, including fatigue, dizziness, chest pain, and more.
According to Mail Online, energy drinks will soon be forced to sport labels warning consumers of their high caffeine content; tea and coffee, however, are exempt. Why? Because “their high caffeine content is widely known.”
But, here’s the real question: can those who have been negatively affected by Red Bull claim ignorance of the product’s caffeine content when its slogan is “Red Bull gives you wings”? For those who cared to look, each can of Red Bull has always clearly displayed the caffeine content.
The market is full of things that are bad for us–cigarettes, alcohol, and fast food, just to name a few. And even if this lawsuit forces the world’s most popular energy drink manufacturer to sap a warning label on each and every can, what are the chances that both adolescents and adults will continue to consume the beverage? Probably pretty high. Every time I go to a college football game, I see kids (persons I define as being under 22 years of age and in school) who smoke.
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