A week after federal and local health officials warned people not to drink Real Water because of a potential link to liver disease, the Las Vegas-based bottled water brand is voluntarily recalling its water.
All sizes of Real Water drinking water are part of the recall due to a “possible health risk,” according to a notice posted on the Food and Drug Administration website Wednesday. Products were sold in stores across the country, Amazon.com and the brand’s website.
The recall comes as lawsuits continue to mount against the company amid an FDA investigation and accusations by more people in more states that it caused liver illness and other ailments.
Save better, spend better: Money tips and advice delivered right to your inbox. Sign up here
A Nevada man’s case blamed the product for his liver transplant in September 2019, a federal class-action lawsuit was filed this week in Nevada, and another lawsuit filed in state court also sought class-action status.
“Defendants … sold their product as ’the healthiest drinking water today,’ ” attorneys Gustavo Ponce and Mona Amini said in the third case, representing Peter Anthony Arambula. “In reality it has dangerous levels of toxins in it making it unsafe and dangerous to human life.”
Last week’s FDA warning also said people should not cook with, sell or serve Real Water.
Free gardening kits:Lowe’s plans ‘SpringFest’ event with free curbside ‘Garden-to-Go’ projects for families. How to sign up
Grape-Nuts shortage is over:Cereal brand to reimburse consumers who paid inflated prices during COVID shortage
Brent Jones, president of the bottler, AffinityLifestyles.com Inc., and a former Nevada state Republican lawmaker, issued a statement earlier this month calling for stores nationwide to pull Real Water from shelves “until the issue is resolved.”
A nearly two-minute video message featuring Jones on the Real Water website offers “deepest sympathy and concern over the events that led to the inquiry.” It said the “voluntary nationwide recall of all products” will remain in effect “until the safety of our product is clearly established.”
Lee Gray, an attorney representing the company in the FDA probe, said Wednesday that Real Water “is continuing to work closely with FDA to investigate and determine the root cause of any issues with its products.” He declined to comment about the lawsuits.
Will Kemp, a Las Vegas attorney, launched the legal barrage with a civil negligence and deceptive trade practices case filed March 16. It blamed the water for liver illness in five hospitalized children.
The regional Southern Nevada Health District reported investigating illnesses of six other people since November 2020 who reported less severe symptoms including vomiting, nausea, appetite loss and fatigue.
A new lawsuit by Kemp, filed Monday on behalf of plaintiff Myles Hunwardsen and four other people, blamed the water for Hunwardsen’s liver failure in September 2019. It said he received a liver transplant at a hospital in Los Angeles. Kemp’s court filings say the water is drawn from the Las Vegas public tap water supply.
Real Water sold at Amazon, stores
Real Water is marketed as premium drinking water with healthy detoxifying properties. It comes in distinctive boxy blue bottles with labels calling it “alkalized” and “infused with negative ions.”
Recalled products include 1.5 liters, 1 liter, 500 ml and gallon ready-to-drink bottles that were distributed at stores throughout the United States and on Amazon.com.
The recall also includes 5-gallon bottles that were distributed through direct delivery to homes and offices in the greater Las Vegas area, central California coastal region and Phoenix.
Four-ounce bottles of Real Water Concentrate, sold on the Real Water website, also are part of the recall.
Consumers with recalled products “should discard it immediately and not drink it,” the recall states, noting the products can be returned for a refund at stores. Home and office delivery customers are advised to contact Real Water to have remaining products picked up.
For questions and to get a refund, contact Real Water at 702-310-5437 Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific time or by email at [email protected]
Contributing: Associated Press
Follow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko