$3B Ruling Issued After Water Recall

(RepublicanReport.org) – In March 2021, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) announced it had investigated multiple reports of non-viral hepatitis in Nevada tied to Real Water bottled alkaline water. One of those cases was that of the Wren family, who, along with other plaintiffs, sued the company for causing liver damage to three family members. Although the company is now defunct, the suit recently concluded, awarding billions to the victims.

The suit involved eight plaintiffs, including five children and three adults, who claimed Real Water’s products contained hydrazine. A Las Vegas jury awarded those named in the suit $3 billion in exemplary damages and about $98 million in compensatory damages. The plaintiff’s lead attorney, Will Kemp, said he hopes the jury’s decision sends a message out to companies in the “bottled water industry to test all their products.”

The lawyer explained that two of the children had to be flown to the hospital in 2020 for potential liver transplants, and the Kemps’ 22-month-old son now has cirrhosis — severe scarring of the liver. That condition is typically seen as tied to the effects of alcoholism but can occur anytime a damaged liver tries to repair itself. According to the Mayo Clinic, damage caused by cirrhosis is generally permanent.

In June 2021, the DOJ issued a release stating that a federal court ordered Real Water and its parent company, AffinityLifestyles.com Inc., to stop distributing its bottled water, noting the pending lawsuit and claims of liver damage.

The complaint said the FDA inspected the business and found multiple manufacturing violations. The company quickly folded and filed for bankruptcy after issuing a recall. While lab tests could not positively identify the contaminant causing the illnesses in 2021, those with the product were told not to drink, cook with, or use it in any way.

In 2023, two separate juries awarded other plaintiffs about $358 million in damages against Real Water.

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