Nevada Jury Awards $130 Million in Damages for Liver Damage Caused by Bottled Water

Las Vegas, Nevada – A Nevada jury has awarded approximately $130 million in damages to five individuals who suffered liver damage after consuming bottled water from a Las Vegas-based company. The water was later recalled from store shelves in 2021. The Clark County District Court jury granted over $30 million in compensatory damages and an additional $100 million in punitive damages to the plaintiffs, including one individual who underwent a liver transplant at a young age.

This latest verdict marks the second significant award in a negligence and product liability case involving Inc. and its Real Water brand. The water, which was packaged in distinctive blue bottles and marketed as premium “alkalized” drinking water with detoxifying properties, was found to contain hydrazine, a chemical used in rocket fuel. Tests discovered that the hydrazine may have been introduced during the treatment process before bottling.

The attorney representing the plaintiffs, Will Kemp, emphasized the importance of holding food and beverage manufacturers accountable for quality assurance. He stated that several more negligence and product liability cases against the company are still pending, including one scheduled to begin in May involving the liver damage diagnoses of six children.

Real Water was sold for over eight years, primarily in Central and Southern California, Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Utah. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Clark County Health District issued public warnings in March 2021, advising against consuming or using the product and ordering its removal from store shelves. Other defendants in the case, including Whole Foods Market and Costco Wholesale, reached confidential settlements before the trial. Terrible Herbst, a convenience store chain, settled during the trial., which was led by former Republican state Assembly member Brent Jones, declared bankruptcy and has since left the state. The Southern Nevada Water Authority, the primary public supplier in the region, reassured the public that the municipal water supply meets or exceeds federal Safe Drinking Water Act standards.

The jury’s verdict serves as a strong message to the food and beverage industry about the importance of maintaining quality and safety standards. The ongoing lawsuits highlight the potential damages that can arise from negligence and product liability cases, emphasizing the need for rigorous testing and oversight.