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Monster Energy Drink linked to another teen's death, lawsuit filed

OAKLAND, Calif.A new lawsuit alleges Monster Energy Drink was involved in a 19-year-old man's death.

The mother of teenager Alex Morris, who died from a cardiac arrhythmia last year, is blaming his death on Monster Beverage Corp., alleging in the lawsuit filed Tuesday that his death was caused by habitually drinking the company's energy drink.

Morris went into cardiac arrest during the early morning hours of July 1 and was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The lawsuit filed in Alameda County Superior Court alleges Morris would not have died if he did not drink two cans of Monster's energy drink every day for the three years before his death, including the day he died.

Morris' mother, Paula Morris, is listed as a plaintiff in the case.

An arrhythmia is an electrical problem with the rate or rhythm of the heartbeat in which the heart can beat too slow or too fast. During that time, the heart may not pump enough blood to the brain and other organs, which could result in the loss of consciousness or death.

The lawsuit comes after the family of 14-year-old Anais Fournier, of Maryland, also sued the company last year after she consumed two 24-ounce cans of Monster and died.

"Our allegations in the lawsuits are the same and that's the peoples deaths were caused by these energy drinks and, more specifically, the defendants failure to warn about the dangers," said Alexander Wheeler, an attorney representing the plaintiffs in both cases.

Monster representatives did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.

The Corona-based company said in March that in Fournier's case, no blood test was performed to confirm that the girl died of "caffeine toxicity" as the lawsuit claimed. The company said it hired a team of physicians that reviewed her records, and found she likely died of natural causes brought on by pre-existing heart conditions.

Monster and other energy drinks have received increased scrutiny in recent months. The Food and Drug Administration is investigating reports of deaths linked to energy drinks, including five that cite Monster beverages, but the agency noted that the reports don't prove the drinks caused the deaths.

The agency also has been investigating at least 13 deaths linked to 5-hour Energy drink.

San Francisco city attorney Dennis Herrera is also suing Monster Beverage for marketing its energy drinks to children, saying the products pose severe health risks.

The American Medical Association last week voted to adopt a policy supporting a ban of the marketing of energy drinks or shots to children and adolescents under 18 years old.

"Energy drinks contain massive and excessive amounts of caffeine that may lead to a host of health problems in young people, including heart problems, and banning companies from marketing these products to adolescents is a common sense action that we can take to protect the health of American kids," AMA board member Dr. Alexander Ding said in a June 18 statement.

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