In what could be the first wrongful death lawsuit against the company, a man’s family is suing Red Bull, claiming the caffeinated beverage is to blame for his death in 2011. He died during a basketball game after drinking a Red Bull, and for that his family is seeking $85 million in the lawsuit filed today in New York City.
According to the Brooklyn man’s family lawyer, Red Bull contributed to the heart attack that led to his death. The drink contains “extra stimulants that make it different than a cup of coffee,” said the attorney. “They are more dangerous than what Red Bull lets on.”
The official cause of death was idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy, which can be caused by many things including illness or genetics.
Red Bull didn’t comment on the case but told the New York Daily News that it’s sold 35 billion cans in 165 countries over the last 25 years “because health authorities across the world have concluded that Red Bull Energy Drink is safe to consume.”
The complaint mentions nine other deaths that have been linked to Red Bull, and the Food and Drug Administration has been investigating Red Bull and other energy drinks like Monster after a slew of complaints in recent years.
That includes 21 reports over eight years, between 2004 and 2012, where doctors or hospitals cited Red Bull for contributing to symptoms like including fatigue, dizziness, chest pain and more.
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