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Monster Beverage tumbles on suit about girl's death

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation - Mon, 22 Oct 2012 19:04 GMT
Author: Reuters
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(Adds claim of other deaths, Monster statement; changes headline)

Oct 22 (Reuters) - Monster Beverage Corp shares fell 16 percent on Monday after news that it is being sued by the family of a 14-year-old girl who died after drinking two cans of its Monster Energy drink.

The family of Anais Fournier filed a lawsuit on Friday against Monster for failing to warn about the product's dangers.

According to the suit, filed in California Superior Court in Riverside, Fournier died Dec. 23, 2011 from "caffeine toxicity" after drinking two 24-ounce cans of Monster Energy on consecutive days.

In a related press release on Friday, the family's law firm said six deaths and 15 hospitalizations associated with Monster Energy since 2009 had been reported to the Center for Food Safety Adverse Event Reporting System at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

FDA officials were not immediately available to comment.

For its part, Monster said it does not believe its drinks are "in any way responsible" for Fournier's death.

"Monster is unaware of any fatality anywhere that has been caused by its drinks," the company said in a statement. It said it intends to vigorously defend itself in the suit.

Monster shares were down 16 percent at ${esc.dollar}44.78 on the Nasdaq in afternoon trade following media reports about lawsuit.

(Reporting By Martinne Geller in New York; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick)

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