CORONA, Calif. (CBS/KCAL) -- So-Cal based energy drink company, Monster, is being sued over a teenager's death. Her family says the high levels of caffeine in the drink killed her. The feds are taking a closer look.
Fans of the Monster energy drink say it's a quick pick-me-up. Anthony Conway says, "When I have one or two, I'm full of energy."
But Monster, which is headquartered in Corona, California is now under scrutiny by the Food and Drug Administration. The FDA is looking into the drink's possible adverse affects after it was cited in five deaths in the last few years including 14-year-old Anais Fournier from Maryland.
Her family is now suing Monster Energy. They say she died after drinking two 24-ounce cans of it. Her cause of death was cardiac arrhythmia due to caffeine toxicity. The coroner says Fournier did have a mild underlying heart condition.
The family attorney Kevin Goldberg says, "The family really hopes that they can keep this from happening to anybody else."
Critics say the problem is the FDA caps the amount of caffeine in soda, but there's no such limit for energy drinks. A 24-ounce can of Monster has about seven times the amount of caffeine as a 12-ounce can of cola.
Cardiologist Dr. Richard Wright says that level can be dangerous, especially for young people. He says, "Their blood pressure may go up to dangerous levels. It's also possible the heart rhythm could rise excessively. It's a little bit why people feel jittery when they drink too much coffee or even Coca-Cola."
Monster Beverage Corporation maintains their drinks are safe and released this statement in part, "Monster does not believe that its products are in any way responsible for the death of Ms. Fournier... Neither the science nor the facts support the allegations."
Last month, lawmakers called on the FDA to examine how caffeine in all energy drinks affects young people.