8 People Awarded $3 Billion in Damages in Real Water Case

8 People Awarded $3 Billion in Damages in Real Water Case

(USNewsBreak.com) – Many people turn to bottled water as a safer alternative to drinking tap water. However, that’s not always the case, as even bottled water can be dangerous when people handle it wrong or treat it improperly. In 2021, Real Water issued a precautionary recall of all its products after authorities determined the product might be responsible for non-viral hepatitis cases among customers who consumed the beverage. Now, the company is on the hook in a $3 billion judgment.

On Friday, June 14, a Las Vegas jury awarded $3 billion in punitive damages to eight plaintiffs, who included five children and three adults. They also received nearly $98 million in compensatory damages. The eight claimants sued Real Water for having a toxic chemical, hydrazine, in their alkaline water products. All of the plaintiffs suffered liver damage, including the children, who were between the ages of seven months and five years old.

Doctors eventually hospitalized a five-year-old girl for acute liver failure after she drank the company’s water. Healthcare providers diagnosed another of the children, a 22-month-old boy, with Cirrhosis, a condition where scar tissue replaces normal tissue and interferes with the liver’s function. Adults Emely and Christopher Wren also suffered health impacts. Christopher and the couple’s two-year-old son required hospitalizations, while Emely suffered from extreme fatigue and nausea.

In the face of lawsuits and multiple probes from federal authorities and agencies, the company folded in 2021. The FDA filed a complaint accusing Real Water of “violat[ing] the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act by distributing adulterated and misbranded bottled water.” Inspections revealed that the company deviated significantly “from preventative control requirements” typically instituted to regulate “the risk of hazards in food.”

The Wrens’ attorney, Will Kemp, said their lawsuit probably initiated the recall. He hopes this lawsuit will serve as a cautionary lesson to other companies in the industry.

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