Fisher v. Monster Beverage Corp. et al.

No. 12-cv-02118-VAP-OPx (C.D.Cal)

Consumer plaintiffs bring this class action against Monster Beverage Corporation and Monster Energy Company for falsely labeling their Monster Energy® Branded Drinks and failing to warn consumers of the health risks inherent in these drinks, specifically from the caffeine and other active ingredients like guarana, taurine, ginseng etc, that are combined to create Monster’s “proprietary energy blend.” Until 2013, Monster labeled these drinks as a “dietary supplement” to avoid complying with federal safety regulations, but changed the classification to a conventional food item. Plaintiffs allege that Monster has changed the classification to avoid having to report adverse effects of its products.

Significantly, Monster Energy® cans fail to carry any warning that the consumption of these energy drinks could be very harmful for all, especially for the teenagers and youth it aggressively and specifically targets. Meanwhile, Monster is raking in over $2 billion annually from sales of the Monster Energy® drinks.

The Complaint also attaches internal Monster marketing documents demonstrating that the Company specifically target kids as young as 9-14 years of age. Monster also uses half-naked women and cool slogans, sponsors extreme sports and young athletes in the 13-21 age group as well as music festivals and musicians in its promotions and advertising to entice young people to consume Monster. Monster’s celebrity product sponsors look like they are drinking Monster Energy® drinks, but in fact are consuming water in a Monster Energy® drink look-alike can with Tour Water in small print on it.

Although initially dismissed by the lower court, plaintiffs prevailed partially in the Ninth Circuit and will continue prosecuting the action in the United States District Court on behalf of consumers of certain varieties of Monster Energy® drinks as outlined in the Second Amended Complaint.

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