The Verdict is IN – $3 BILLION!

In a landmark decision that underscores the importance of consumer safety, a Las Vegas jury has awarded billions in damages to victims of the now-defunct Real Water bottled alkaline water company. This verdict follows an investigation by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) into multiple reports of non-viral hepatitis linked to the company’s products in Nevada.

The Wren family, along with other plaintiffs, sued Real Water for causing liver damage to three of their family members. Despite the company’s collapse, the suit concluded with the jury awarding a staggering $3 billion in exemplary damages and approximately $98 million in compensatory damages to eight plaintiffs, including five children and three adults.

The plaintiffs, led by attorney Will Kemp, claimed that Real Water’s products contained hydrazine, a dangerous chemical. Kemp expressed hope that the jury’s decision would serve as a stern warning to the bottled water industry to rigorously test their products to prevent such tragedies in the future.

“This verdict sends a clear message that companies in the bottled water industry must ensure the safety of their products,” said Kemp. “Negligence and disregard for consumer health will not be tolerated.”

The severity of the impact on the plaintiffs was heartbreaking. Two of the children involved had to be airlifted to the hospital in 2020 for potential liver transplants, and the Kemps’ 22-month-old son now suffers from cirrhosis, a severe and often irreversible liver condition typically associated with chronic alcoholism.

In March 2021, the FDA first announced its investigation into the hepatitis cases tied to Real Water. The Department of Justice (DOJ) followed in June 2021, issuing a release stating that a federal court had ordered Real Water and its parent company, Inc., to cease distribution of its bottled water due to the pending lawsuit and claims of liver damage.

During their inspection, FDA officials found multiple manufacturing violations at Real Water’s facilities. Despite their efforts, lab tests could not definitively identify the contaminant causing the illnesses in 2021. The company issued a recall, but the damage was done. Real Water quickly folded and filed for bankruptcy.

“The FDA’s findings were damning, and the company’s swift descent into bankruptcy speaks volumes about their operations,” Kemp noted. “This was a preventable tragedy.”

In 2023, the legal fallout continued with two separate juries awarding other plaintiffs about $358 million in damages against Real Water, further highlighting the company’s gross negligence.

The case of Real Water serves as a chilling reminder of the critical need for stringent regulations and thorough testing in the bottled water industry. Companies must prioritize consumer safety above all else, and any lapse can result in devastating consequences.

As the dust settles on this case, the hope is that it will lead to greater accountability and vigilance within the industry. The victims of Real Water’s negligence have finally received justice, but their suffering underscores the need for proactive measures to protect consumers from similar harm in the future.

This verdict is not just a win for the plaintiffs but a resounding victory for consumer rights and safety standards. It is a clear call to action for regulatory bodies and companies alike to ensure that such a travesty never happens again.