Do Monster Energy drinks have unsafe levels of caffeine? The company's products killed five people over the past year and a sixth in 2009, according to reports submitted by doctors and companies to the FDA. Parents in Maryland have already used the reports in a lawsuit against Monster, America's most popular energy-drink maker, claiming caffeine toxicity killed their teenage daughter, Anais Fournier, Bloomberg News reports.
But Monster denies culpability in Fournier's death and "is unaware of any fatality anywhere that has been caused by its drinks," the company said. Behind the legal clash is a long-brewing battle over energy drinks in general. Sen. Dick Durbin wants to limit their caffeine levels because emergency room visits related to energy drinks soared 10-fold between 2005 and 2009—although half of those involved drugs or alcohol. Unlike sodas, energy drinks have no caffeine limits because they are often sold as dietary supplements. (Read more energy drink stories.)