LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A woman claims drinking Las Vegas-based Real Water made her develop liver cancer, a lawsuit filed in court said.
Real Water sold alkaline water, which has a lesser acidity, through a home delivery service and in bottles sold in stores.
According to the lawsuit, Grace Zimmerman, who is in her mid-20s, drank the brand’s bottled water between May 2019 and November 2019. In June 2020, she went to the emergency room, where doctors told her she had elevated liver enzyme levels. She was transferred to a Los Angeles hospital, where her condition improved.
Last fall, Zimmerman was diagnosed with acute hepatitis, the lawsuit said. Acute non-viral hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver that can be caused by exposure to toxins, autoimmune disease or drinking too much alcohol.
In October, doctors found a “malignant lesion on her liver,” and she was diagnosed with liver cancer. At the time of the diagnoses, Zimmerman was 23.
“Plaintiff was never diagnosed with any underlying conditions – her doctors at UCLA could not figure out why an otherwise healthy 23-year-old was experiencing these enzyme spikes and suffering from liver cancer,” the lawsuit said.
Doctors took out part of Zimmerman’s liver and gallbladder to remove the cancer.
In an separate lawsuit filed last week, lawyers claim a woman in her 60s died from liver failure last year, in what they believe is the first death connected to Real Water.
At least 11 cases of acute non-viral hepatitis are linked to Real Water, according to the Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD). Last month, the health district said it was investigating 50 additional reports. Five cases involved children.
Each of those investigations are based on people who self-identified to the health district, were reported by a health care provider or because their Real Water subscription was canceled due to health concerns.
In March, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommended consumers, restaurants and retailers discontinue drinking, cooking with, selling or serving the alkaline water.
The company issued a statement in March, saying it was notified of a potential problem with its water on March 16 and that the problem dated back to November 2020.
In a video posted in March, the company’s majority owner and founder apologized to customers. The company has not released a statement since.