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Last updated: August 05. 2014 12:48PM - 2451 Views
By - mswearengin@civitasmedia.com



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A local trial against an energy drink company came to an end after a settlement agreement was reached.


Angela Wheat filed a lawsuit in January 2013 against Monster Beverage Corp., alleging the beverage caused her 16-year-old son to have a heart attack.


The trial began July 21, and on Friday afternoon, the parties announced the case had been settled. According to the Bryan County Court Clerk’s Office, an undisclosed settlement was reached in the case.


According to a court document, the trial resumed Friday morning. Jurors were excused until 1:30 that afternoon, and upon returning, it was announced that the matter had been settled.


In the lawsuit, Wheat said her son collapsed and went into cardiac arrest after consuming a California-based Monster energy drink in November 2011.


According to the lawsuit, the boy purchased a Monster beverage and went to a local church for volunteer work.


“Shortly after consuming the Monster energy drink, (he) collapsed and lost consciousness while working with other church members to clean the church,” the lawsuit states. He was given CPR and transported to Medical Center of Southeastern Oklahoma and later OU Children’s Hospital.


The lawsuit directly blamed his consumption of the energy drink for the medical episode.


The suit sought unspecified damages in excess of $75,000 and lists several accusations. Those include a “design defect and failure to warn” on the drink’s packaging, negligence, unfair and deceptive trade practices, and punitive damages.


In a statement released last month, Monster Beverage stated the company was sorry the teen had a heart attack, but denied the allegations and also said it had not been determined if the boy consumed a Monster drink.


“The evidence in this case shows the only person that saw him with a drink that day was Bill Ledbetter, a pastor at the Fairview Baptist Church,” the company stated. “When deposed and interviewed, Pastor Ledbetter stated that Jason was holding a ‘silver can’. In 2011 when this incident occurred, Monster had no product that was even close to being described, as in a silver can.”


Reach Matt Swearengin at (580) 634-2160 or DDDEditor@Twitter.com.


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