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Tracking the Real Water investigation

Timeline of major developments in the Food and Drug Administration’s investigation of Las Vegas-based Real Water:

March 16

A Las Vegas family files a lawsuit in Clark County against the local company that bottles Real Water the same day the FDA announced an investigation into a possible hepatitis outbreak tied to the product.

— The FDA said it was recently alerted about five cases of acute non-viral hepatitis, which causes liver failure, in infants and children from November. Six more people, including three children, reported less severe symptoms, such as vomiting, nausea, loss of appetite and fatigue.

“To date, the consumption of ‘Real Water’ brand alkaline water was found to be the only common link identified between all the cases,” a news release from the Southern Nevada Health District stated.

March 18

Tina Hartshorn says she suffered a long list of serious symptoms that led to being hospitalized for nine days last fall, and she attributes her illness to Real Water in a second lawsuit filed against the company. Other lawsuits are filed and attorneys say they are fielding dozens of calls and interviewing potential clients.

Tina Hartshorn, at her home in Las Vegas, Thursday, March 18, 2021. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Rev ...
Tina Hartshorn, at her home in Las Vegas, Thursday, March 18, 2021. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @rookie__rae

Real Water President Brent Jones, a former Nevada legislator, calls for retailers to pull the product from shelves “effective immediately,” according to a statement to The Associated Press.

— The FDA also warned consumers, restaurants and retailers not to drink, cook with, sell or serve the product.

March 22

Five people who claim they became sick after drinking Real Water, including one man who underwent a liver transplant, filed a joint lawsuit in Las Vegas.

The complaint names Affinity Lifestyles.com Inc., the Las Vegas-based maker of the bottled water, and retailers Whole Foods Market, Costco Wholesale and Terrible Herbst as defendants.

March 23

Three California women are leading a federal lawsuit against the maker of Real Water.

Brent Jones
Brent Jones

Real Water President Brent Jones releases a video on the company website, saying he is cooperating with the FDA investigation.

March 24

A new lawsuit claims a Las Vegas family suffered “catastrophic poisoning” after exposure to unidentified toxins in Real Water. According to the complaint, 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 claims they had been longtime customers and regularly had the product delivered to their home in 5-gallon jugs and smaller bottles, while also buying bottles from Whole Foods.

UFC Hall of Famer Stephan Bonnar suffered liver failure and was hospitalized for five days after drinking Real Water, according to another lawsuit, which is one of at least six filed against the company. The same complaint alleges that while a local woman, Cheryl Nally, was hospitalized with liver failure, her family dog, Buckley, drank Real Water and died.

Another woman experienced a stroke and also was hospitalized with liver failure, according to the suit filed by the Kemp Jones law firm.

March 25

— The FDA announces that the maker of Real Water is not cooperating with a federal investigation into cases of illness and liver failure associated with the alkaline water.

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