CONSUMER

$228M awarded to plaintiffs who sued Nevada-based bottled water company after liver illnesses

Oct 5, 2023, 1:15 PM | Updated: 6:40 pm

water pouring from bottle to glass...

FILE — (congerdesign via Pixabay)

(congerdesign via Pixabay)

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A jury has awarded more than $228 million in damages to several plaintiffs who sued a Las Vegas-based bottled water company after its product was linked to liver illnesses, a newspaper reported Thursday.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that jurors determined Real Water and two other defendants in the case were liable for $28.5 million in compensatory damages and $200 million in punitive damages.

Multiple lawsuits have been filed against Real Water and the Review-Journal said the case that resulted in Wednesday’s verdict was the first to go to trial.

Plaintiffs in the case included the family of a 69-year-old woman who died from liver failure in 2020 and the family of a 7-month-old boy who was hospitalized with severe liver failure, according to the newspaper.

In the lawsuit, plaintiffs alleged faulty testing meters produced by the companies contributed to toxic chemicals found in the water.

Joel Odou, an attorney for Real Water, told jurors the company tested the water but did not know to test for hydrazine — a toxic chemical used in rocket fuel.

In May 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned consumers, restaurants and retailers not to drink, cook with, sell or serve Real Water.

The product was sold at stores throughout the Southwest including Nevada, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico and the Los Angeles area and also was delivered to homes in large bottles before being pulled off shelves in March 2021.

Affinitylifestyles.com marketed Real Water in boxy blue plastic bottles as mineral-rich, “infused with negative ions” and “the healthiest drinking water available.”

Affinitylifestyles.com was headed by Brent Jones, who served as a Republican Nevada state Assembly member from 2016 to 2018. The company did not dispute that the water was drawn from the public Las Vegas-area water supply.

Telephone calls to Jones by The Associated Press on Thursday seeking comment on the jury’s verdict rang busy.


An earlier version of this report incorrectly said the jury had awarded more than $288 million instead of $228 million.

 

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$228M awarded to plaintiffs who sued Nevada-based bottled water company after liver illnesses