RIVERSIDE, Calif. -- In a landmark decision, a jury in a four-year-old lawsuit has concluded that Monster Energy drinks do not cause cardiac arrhythmias or cardiac arrest.
On Dec. 6, the jury in California Superior Court in Riverside, Calif., unanimously found that the energy drinks were not responsible for a heart attack the plaintiff suffered at age 18.
“This is the first case of this type to ever go to verdict, and I am pleased the jury listened to the medical and scientific evidence and followed the law,” said Marc Miles of Shook, Hardy & Bacon, which represented Monster Beverage in the case. “After years of unsupported allegations regarding the safety of energy drinks, the jury needed only 15 minutes to reach this finding.”
In the case of Bledsoe v. Monster, plaintiff Cody Bledsoe sued Corona, Calif.-based Monster Beverage Corp. in 2014, saying the company’s energy drink was responsible for a heart attack he suffered the year before when he was 18. The heart attack caused brain damage that Bledsoe’s attorneys said limits his ability to work and has led to high medical costs.
Bledsoe’s attorney, Greg Marks, told the Los Angeles Times that he plans to appeal the verdict.
More than 100 billion energy drinks have been sold and safely consumed worldwide for more than 27 years, Monster Beverage said.
Monster Energy drinks contain about 10 milligrams of caffeine per ounce from all sources.
"Monster has always been confident in the safety of its products and stands by them," the company stated. "This verdict further validates what Monster has always known: Monster Energy drinks are safe."
NEW YORK -- While the last month of 2017 was kind to sales of energy drinks, bottled water and sports drinks, even Christmas couldn't boost beer trends. Those are top-line conclusions from Nielsen scan data from all retail channels for the four-week period ending Dec. 30.
Here's a look at how the major categories fared during the month ...
Energy drinks found their way back to mid-single-digit growth during the month, according to a Wells Fargo Securities report. That sales growth during December was led by Monster Beverage Corp., which saw volume sales up 11.2%, according to Nielsen. Red Bull sales were up 3.7% during the period. The full category grew 2.2% during 2017, about half of the previous year's 4.3% sales growth and well below 2015's 10.5% growth.
Total retail beer volume sales were down 1.6%, about on par with a 12-week trend of negative 2.0% and a 52-week trend of negative 0.9%. The bright spot in the beer category remains imported beer, up 3.1% in volume during the four-week period and 5.4% for the full year, led by Constellation Brands, Chicago, which grew volume sales 11.1% for the year.
Regular (full-calorie) beer saw unit sales dip 1.2% during December, compared to a 2.4% sales decline for light beer. Sales of all domestic beers were down 2.7%, craft beer was flat and cider sales dropped 3.2%.
In other beverage categories:
- Ready-to-drink coffee maintained strong growth, with unit sales up 8.0% during December, following on 7.6% growth over the past 12 weeks and 9.8% for the full year.
- Sports-drink volume sales saw a nice turnaround through the year, up 5.0% during December, compared to 2.5% growth over the past 12 weeks and a decline of 3.6% for the full year.
- Shelf-stable juices continued to lag, down 2.7% in volume for the month, 2.2% for 12 weeks and 3.8% for the year.
- Ready-to-drink iced tea unit sales were generally flat, up 1.1% for the month, up 0.7% for 12 weeks and down 0.7% for the year.