Heart attack victim's spouse sues 5-Hour Energy maker for wrongful death

The makers of 5-Hour Energy, a popular energy drink that claims to pack all the benefits of coffee in a 2-ounce plastic bottle with "no crash later," are being sued by the family of a man who died after drinking it.

The wrongful death lawsuit filed in federal court in Tennessee last week by the spouse of 27-year-old Antonio Hassell alleges that Hassell suffered a heart attack as a result of drinking 5-Hour Energy. Hassell, who worked late-night shifts at a warehouse, took the shot-sized drinks to stay alert. He collapsed from a heart attack while playing basketball about a month after he started drinking them.

According to the suit, Hassell suffered cardiac arrest and died seven months after he was hospitalized. The complaint asserts he would not have used 5-Hour Energy, which has now cornered about 80% of the energy drink market, if he had known the health consequences, risks, and adverse side effects caused by energy drinks. The Hassell suit seeks $15 million in compensatory damages and $150 million in punitive damages.