October 30, 2013

Red Bull has been named in an $85 million wrongful death lawsuit (photo credit: Jixar).

Red Bull has been named in an $85 million wrongful death lawsuit (photo credit: Jixar).

Cory Terry, a 33-year-old Brooklyn man, died in the middle of a basketball game after consuming a Red Bull energy drink. A wrongful death lawsuit filed by his family alleges that the energy drink caused a heart attack and seeks $85 million in compensation. The lawsuit alleges that Terry died of “toxic amounts of caffeine.” We’ve written about lawsuits against energy drink companies previously on our blog.

Terry was a healthy non-smoker who worked in construction, a physically-demanding job. His family is shocked he died while playing a game of basketball after drinking a can of Red Bull. According to the wrongful death claim, other deaths have been caused by Red Bull consumption:

  • Ross Rooney, an 18-year-old college student, died in Ireland while playing basketball and after drinking Red Bull’s energy drink;
  • Government authorities in Sweden are investigating Red Bull after the energy drink was suspected to be linked to three deaths, according to the BBC News;
  • A European Court upheld a ban in France on Red Bull based on health risks. The judges in the case cited a study by the French Scientific Committee on Human Nutrition that found that Red Bull contained excessive caffeine. The study also voiced concerns about other ingredients in Red Bull energy drink: taurine and glucuronolactone.

Although one Red Bull energy drink contains approximately the same amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee, Red Bull has extra stimulants that make it distinct from a regular cup of coffee.

At The Cochran Firm, D.C., we are monitoring potential liability related to Red Bull and other energy drinks (including Monster). Companies that irresponsibly sell dangerous products on the marketplace that cause serious harm or even death must be held responsible. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration posted 21 reports associated with Red Bull that the federal safety agency has received since 2004. The report described panic attacks, dizziness, vomiting, anxiety, and chest pain.