A woman in New Zealand died in February 2010 from a heart attack at the age of 30. But her family says it wasn't just a bad heart to blame for her poor health and subsequent death–the woman apparently drank 2 gallons of Coca-Cola a day. According to her family, a Coke was the first thing she drank in the morning and the last thing she drank at night.
A doctor in New Zealand testified that the woman, Natasha Harris, suffered from hypokalemia, or low potassium because of her Coke habit. The toxic levels of caffeine in that much Coke also likely contributed to her death. Her family also testified that she smoked 30 cigarettes a day. It is common in New Zealand for an inquest, or a legal inquiry before a jury, to be held.
Harris left behind 8 children. She apparently awoke the morning of her death, helped her children get ready for school, and then slumped against a wall and died. Her boyfriend attempted to give her mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and called emergency services, but it was too late. According to the coroner, Harris' primary cause of death was a heart arrhythmia, where the heart beats too slow or too fast because of drug or alcohol use or excessive smoking. Coca-Cola has since released a statement: "We believe that all foods and beverages can have a place in a balanced and sensible diet combined with an active lifestyle. The foundation of good nutrition is balance, variety and moderation."
recently named in the 2009 edition of Best Lawyer's In America, David Mittleman has been representing seriously injured people since 1985. A partner with Church Wyble PC—a division of Grewal Law PLLC—Mr. Mittleman and his partners focus on medical malpractice, wrongful death, car accidents, slip and falls, nursing home injury, pharmacy/pharmacist negligence and disability claims.