Kansas City woman launches lawsuit against Monster Energy Drink after husband's death

A Kansas City woman launches the latest lawsuit against Monster Energy Drink.

Heather Felts said her husband, Shane, died after consuming about one energy drink a day for two weeks.

The drink's manufacturer, she said, touts the energy drink as a dietary supplement when there are few to no documented health benefits.

Felts said her husband consumed Monster Energy Drinks for just two weeks.

He thought an energy drink was supposed to give him energy, but she said it instead left him dead.

On June 24, 2012, Felts had dinner with her husband the night before he died.

She had no idea it would be the last time she'd talk with the man she'd been married to for 15 years.

"About 2:00 or 2:30, I heard a thump," she remembered. "He was on the floor in the bathroom."

She and her two boys rushed him to the hospital.

"It's just like the movies; a doctor kneels down in the front of you and says 'I'm sorry, we did everything we could but he's gone,'" she said.

Felts believed the energy drink contributed to her husband's death.

In a lawsuit filed in July, Felts claimed Monster Energy Drink markets itself as a healthy product - a dietary supplement - but is really nothing more than a dangerous pharmaceutical stimulant.

The FDA regulates caffeine content in soda but not in energy drinks because energy drinks are considered dietary supplements.

It's why manufacturers don't have to report the amount of supplements in the drinks - including caffeine content.

To put it in perspective, two 24-ounce Monster Energy Drinks cans contain about as much caffeine as 14 cans of Coca Cola.

The FDA reports adverse health effects and deaths allegedly related to Monster Energy Drinks have been reported for years.

"Some of these products in Monster Energy Drink are used for anti-psychotic behavior, also products Monster Energy Drink that are used for cutting cocaine and methamphetamine," Danny Thomas with Humphrey, Farrington & McClain said.

This isn't the first accusation of problems related to energy drinks.

The Food and Drug Administration says since 2004 a total of 34 deaths have been linked to different energy drinks.

Late last month, The Center for Science in the Public Interest asked the FDA for new warning labels. It wants the drinks to warn about heart attacks, convulsion, and other possible side effects.

In the lawsuit, Felts said, "Due to the fraud and deceit alleged, Shane Felts suffered serious injuries culminating in his death."

"There are no health benefits reported by any independent body," Thomas said.

Shane Felts complained of heartburn during their last dinner date.

"I said if it's something else, let's go to the hospital. He said 'No, I'm fine.' I said 'I kinda like ya, I don't want you to die.' We come home and he died," Felts said.

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