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5-year-old ‘lucky to be alive,’ Real Water lawsuit claims

Updated March 29, 2021 - 9:01 pm

A new lawsuit claims a Las Vegas family suffered “catastrophic poisoning” after exposure to unidentified toxins in the locally bottled Real Water, the focus of a Food and Drug Administration investigation.

According to the complaint, filed Wednesday, 5-year-old Hera Carrier experienced liver malfunction in November and continues to experience medical problems. In the spring and summer, her father, Ryan Carrier, battled fatigue, light-headedness and vomiting.

The family had been longtime customers of Real Water and regularly had the product delivered to their home in 5-gallon jugs and smaller bottles, while also buying bottles from Whole Foods.

After news broke of an investigation into Real Water, the company’s president, Brent Jones, a former Nevada legislator, called for retailers to pull bottles from their shelves.

He said in a videotaped statement on the company’s website that he was cooperating with the FDA.

The Carrier family’s complaint is at least the fifth lawsuit against Real Water filed since last week, including a federal class action lodged Monday.

Ryan Carrier experienced his symptoms as his daughter complained of stomach pain and headaches, attorneys with the firm Campbell & Williams wrote.

“Hera became seriously ill,” the suit states. “She was throwing up, her body went limp, and she became incoherent.”

She stopped eating on Nov. 10 and slept through the day.

Her parents rushed her to Children’s Medical Center at Summerlin Hospital, where she underwent a battery of tests, including a spinal tap and two blood transfusions, that doctors said showed blood sugar levels at “some of the lowest they had ever seen” coupled with “highly-elevated liver enzymes in the blood stream.”

As her liver enzymes continued to shoot up, the complaint states, she was airlifted to Children’s Primary Hospital in Salt Lake City, “as she appeared to be experiencing full-blown liver failure.”

A pathology report showed that “Hera had consumed something highly toxic,” the suit states, “although the source of the toxin could not be determined at the time.”

Doctors said she would need a liver transplant and continued to test her for the next 10 days in an attempt to restore her liver. She gradually improved, however, and was discharged before Thanksgiving.

“Lucky to be alive, Hera continues to receive treatment now that she is back home in Las Vegas,” the suit states. The family was told the girl would require “future medical monitoring for an indefinite period of time.”

In December, officials with the Southern Nevada Health District reached out to the Carriers as the agency investigated similar illnesses in other children.

Contact David Ferrara at dferrara@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-1039. Follow @randompoker on Twitter.

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