LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A man who claims he suffered a heart attack after drinking up to four Rockstar beverages in less than eight hours is suing the manufacturer of the energy drink.
Oscar Maldonado filed the lawsuit Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court against Rockstar Beverage Corp. The complaint alleges strict product liability, negligence, fraud and breach of implied warranties and seeks unspecified damages.
According to the lawsuit, the Rockstar drinks consumed by Maldonado on June 30, 2013, initially caused him to develop shortness of breath and chest pains. The symptoms grew increasingly worse the next three days and he was told by doctors on July 3, 2013, that he was having a heart attack, the suit states.
"He was taken into surgery immediately, where doctors performed an emergency surgical operation," according to the lawsuit.
Maldonado still faces medical expenses from his ordeal, the complaint alleges.
Rockstar is promoted as an energy drink fit for consumers "from athletes to rockstars," the lawsuit states. "In order to provide the marketed benefits, Rockstar energy drinks contain and rely primarily upon massive amounts of caffeine, a substance well-known for imposing adverse health effects upon consumers."
"Most importantly, caffeine is known to play a role in triggering adverse cardiac episodes," the lawsuit said, which also noted Rockstar drinks contain taurine, an ingredient that has a similar effect on cardiac muscles as does caffeine.
According to the lawsuit, studies show that when taurine, caffeine and other ingredients in Rockstar drinks are mixed they can produce cardiac-related problems.
Despite Rockstar's knowledge of the problems associated with its beverages, the drink makers "mask and otherwise fail to alert consumers like (Maldonado) of the significant risks associated with the consumption of Rockstar energy drinks and did not provide adequate warnings of the dangers of their product to plaintiff," the suit alleges.
Maldonado would not have consumed Rockstar drinks if he knew of the health risks allegedly associated with them, the suit states.
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