Entries in Deaths (3)


Monster Energy Drink Stock Drops After Death Reports

David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Shares of Monster Beverage Corp. (NASDAQ: MNST) fell over 14 percent after the Food and Drug Administration revealed it received reports that five people consumed the energy drink before their deaths in the past year.

Monster stock fell 14.23 percent by the close of regular trading on Monday to $45.73.

Incident reports submitted by doctors and companies revealed that the energy drink was cited in the deaths of five individuals, but they are not considered conclusive until fully investigated by the Food and Drug Administration, Bloomberg reported.

Last week, the family of teenager Anais Fournier of Maryland sued the energy drink company after she died after consuming two cans of the drink.

In December, Anais, 17, had reportedly consumed two 24-oz. cans of Monster within 24 hours, about 480 milligrams of known caffeine or the equivalent of about a dozen cans of Coca-Cola, according to her family. They say she went into cardiac arrest while watching a movie at home.

According to the autopsy report and the death certificate, Courthouse News reported, Anais died from “cardiac arrhythmia due to caffeine toxicity complicating mitral valve regurgitation in the setting of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.”  Ehlers-Danlos is a genetic disorder.

Monster is the second-highest seller of caffeinated energy drinks behind Red Bull, which had $1.6 billion and $2.9 billion in sales last year, according to research company SymphonyIRI.

Monster Energy told ABC News it is preparing a statement about the FDA reports.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Weight Loss Biz Under Fire for Lap-Band Surgery Deaths

Bruce Gifford/FilmMagic(NEW YORK) -- Few doctors have made more money in the weight-loss business than Beverly Hills brothers, Julian and Michael Omidi.

The brothers, who once were featured in the cable program Dr. 90210, are the men behind a heavily advertised Southern California business called 1-800-GetThin that has made millions of dollars offering an outpatient procedure that constricts the stomach with what's called a "Lap-Band."

Done right, the Lap-Band procedure is a safe technique.  But a 20/20 investigation that will also be featured on World News with Diane Sawyer has found that in the past three years, at least five patients have died after Lap-Band surgery at the brothers' California clinics.

John Faitro says his wife Laura died after doctors lacerated her liver during the procedure, but sent her home without revealing the mistake.

The clinic's lawyers say Laura Faitro had other health issues and the lacerated liver was not the cause of her death.

But the doctor who operated on Laura Faitro testified that one of the Omidi brothers, Julian, told him they made too much money to worry about the death or the cost of a lawsuit.

"Julian Omidi's response to me was, 'Don't worry, we make $21 million a month, one million is okay,'" said Dr. Ihsan Shamaan during a deposition in a lawsuit filed by John Faitro.

The Omidis deny the doctor's allegations and remain in business despite the new investigations and lawsuits against them.

The Omidis, who declined to be interviewed by ABC News, say there are greater risks with obese patients and that their clinics are professionally accredited and meet the highest standards. 

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Attorneys in Nevada Homeowners Association Scandal Dead

Joseph Devenney/Getty Images(LAS VEGAS) -- A high-profile federal corruption investigation of homeowners associations in Nevada turned deadly this week when two key defendants in the case were found dead.

David Amesbury, a Las Vegas attorney targeted in the investigation, was found dead of an apparent hanging Sunday in Grass Valley, Calif., according to the Nevada County Chief Deputy Coroner Paul Schmidt. Amesbury was staying at his brother's home. Amesbury's brother could not be reached by ABC News for comment.

"There is no evidence of foul play or suspicion right now but it's still being investigated," Schmidt told ABC News. The death is being looked at as a possible suicide at this time, Schmidt said. Autopsy results will be out in about 10 weeks.

"I know of no specific reason why he would have done this," Frank Cremen, Amesbury's defense lawyer told ABC News. "I know his family doesn't believe it was suicide."

Another figure in the case, Nancy Quon, a construction defect lawyer, was found dead in a bathtub in a Henderson, Nev., condominium on March 20, Keith Paul, a spokesman for the Henderson Police Department told ABC News. Her death is still under investigation.

"Suicide will be one of the considerations along with accidental and medical, but at this time there is no evidence of foul play," Paul said.

The investigation by the U.S. Justice Department alleges Quon and Amesbury were involved in a plan that began in 2008 to take over homeowner association boards and then steer legal and construction contracts to specific firms.

The deaths, one defense attorney told the Las Vegas Review-Journal, are generating a growing sense of anxiety among those named in the federal probe.

"Some of the witnesses are extremely concerned about their well-being and safety," the defense lawyer, who was involved in plea negotiations with the government, told the newspaper. "People are dying here."

Amesbury, 57, reached a plea deal in the investigation on Oct 24. He is one of 10 defendants who have pleaded guilty in the case. Amesbury pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, according to documents from the U.S. Justice Department.

The Las Vegas attorney received $3,000 from co-conspirators to rig HOA board elections. Residents sent ballots to Amesbury's office where he allowed co-conspirators to count the votes in order to create enough fake ballots for their candidate to win, according to the Justice Department. The co-conspirators elected to the HOA boards used their positions to hire individuals and companies that would result in personal financial benefit for them, according to plea documents.

Sentencing for Amesbury was adjourned until Sept. 21. Amesbury was facing up to 30 years in jail, a million-dollar fine, or both, according to the Justice Department.

On Nov. 16, a few weeks after the plea agreement, Amesbury was found severely beaten in Henderson, Nev., according to Keith Paul, a spokesman for Henderson Police. Amesbury was found bloody, lying in the street of a gated community with a head injury and scrapes on his arms. He was not wearing a shirt and his pants were down to his ankles. Amesbury told detectives at the hospital that "he planned to commit suicide or try to," according to police reports. He later admitted he had brought 30 Valium pills with him.

The investigation into the incident was closed in January and police do not believe it was a result of Amesbury's plea agreement.

Prosecutors in the federal investigation have been building a foundation to indict 51-year-old Quon, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. The investigation will continue despite the recent deaths.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio