LAS VEGAS, Nevada – A Nevada jury has reached a landmark verdict in a case of negligence and product liability, awarding approximately $130 million in damages to five plaintiffs who suffered liver damage after consuming bottled water marketed by AffinityLifestyles.com Inc. and its Real Water brand. This ruling has significant implications for the bottled water industry, shedding light on the importance of product safety and quality control.
The Real Water brand, known for its premium treated ‘alkalized’ drinking water with detoxifying properties, was sold in distinctive blue boxy bottles. Marketed extensively through social media and online channels, the product was available in Central and Southern California, Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Utah. However, investigations revealed the presence of hydrazine, a rocket fuel chemical, in the water, potentially introduced during the treatment process prior to bottling.
The five plaintiffs involved in the case suffered severe health issues, including liver damage and hospitalizations. As a result, the jury awarded more than $30 million in compensatory damages and an additional $100 million in punitive damages. This is not the first major verdict against AffinityLifestyles.com Inc., as the company faces multiple pending negligence and product liability cases.
During the trial, the company’s attorney argued that their negligence was unintentional rather than reckless, insisting that they were unaware of the presence of hydrazine and did not conduct tests to identify it. The water used by the company was sourced from the public supply in the Las Vegas area. Following the discovery, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Clark County Health District issued public warnings and initiated the removal of the product from store shelves.
This case serves as a critical reminder of the crucial role that quality control plays in ensuring consumer safety. It highlights the need for companies to diligently test their products for potential contaminants and adhere to strict quality standards. The presence of hydrazine, a chemical commonly used in rocket fuel, in drinking water poses a serious concern that could have been avoided through proper testing and quality control measures.
Consumer trust is of utmost importance, as they rely on companies to provide safe and high-quality products. When this trust is breached, the consequences can be devastating, as seen in this lawsuit. Companies must prioritize product safety and take all necessary precautions to prevent any risks to consumer health.
The verdict in this case sends a clear message to bottled water managers and companies, underscoring the significance of ensuring the safety of their products. Furthermore, this ruling may have implications for future litigation within the beverage industry and could impact the reputation of both Real Water and the alkaline water industry as a whole. The implications of this case extend beyond the financial damages, emphasizing the need for increased diligence and responsibility when it comes to product safety and quality control.