Monster Beverage Corp. has its own take on what happened to Anais Fournier, the 14-year-old Maryland girl whose family blames her 2011 death on her consumption of Monster energy drinks.
The Fourniers sued Monster in October, alleging negligence and wrongful death. On Monday, the Corona company lashed back, unveiling the findings of a group of medical experts that it hired to examine the girl's records.
The physicians – including a cardiac pathologist, an emergency room physician, a coroner and a toxicologist – found "conclusively that there is no medical, scientific or factual evidence" to support claims that Monster energy drinks "contributed to, let alone was the cause" of Fournier's death, according to Daniel Callahan, a lawyer for the company.
Monster also said in a statement that the findings negated a report from the Maryland medical examiner linking Fournier's death to "caffeine toxicity." The company said the medical examiner's report showed no evidence of blood tests being conducted for caffeine levels.
Fournier drank two 24-ounce Monster energy drinks within a 24-hour period in December 2011 and then went into cardiac arrest several hours later. A can of that size contains 240 milligrams of caffeine – less than the 260 milligrams of caffeine in a 12-ounce cup of Starbucks brewed coffee, according to Monster.
Callahan said in a statement that Fournier was known to drink caffeinated coffee each morning while also regularly consuming energy drinks, "all without incident."
He said that medical records showed that Fournier "suffered from several heart conditions" and had a family history of heart problems. Her heart was 60% larger than the normal size of a comparable teen, according to a pathologist quoted by Monster.
"Monster is very sorry for the family's loss, but the facts do not support placing the blame of Ms. Fournier's untimely passing on Monster beverages," Callahan said. "Millions of Monster Energy Drinks are safely consumed every day and there is not one direct link to a single death that we know of that has been proven."