The lead water technician for Real Water – the Las Vegas-based company that produces “alkalized” bottled water, which is now linked to cases of liver failure – testified that he had no suitable experience as a water technician when promoted last August. year.
In late November, just months after Aiken’s rise, five babies and children who drank the water developed acute non-viral hepatitis, which led to acute liver failure, health officials said. The children ranged in age from 7 months to 5 years. Real Water’s branded water was the only common link between the cases.
Health officials do not link the November cases to water until March, when state and federal investigations are under way. On April 26, the Southern Nevada Health District announced that it had identified six additional probable cases and one suspected case, all of them in adults. The health region is currently investigating 50 additional cases and now has at least 10 civil cases against Real Water, all with allegations of poisoning. Aiken’s video was made in connection with these civil cases.
But according to Aiken, the company should have been aware of the water problem just when it arose in November. Aiken’s own dog developed liver disease this month, after drinking water, Aiken returned from work. The dog recovered after his wife identified water as a possible source of the disease and told Aiken to stop giving it to him.
“My wife is a veterinary technician – a veterinary technician – by trade, so [she’s] great for animals and she knows a lot about it, so she maintains the same diet – she’s very complicated with her animals, “Aiken said in his postponement.
After Aiken’s 2-year-old mini mix rescue dog / chihuahua drank the water, the dog started vomiting and became lethargic. Aiken and his wife then took him to a veterinarian.
“It was a problem with his liver,” Aiken said. “We took a few pills from him.” Three hundred dollars for a vet later, my wife, she told me to stop giving him water because she didn’t know what it was and that was the only thing we changed, so we stopped giving water to the dog. ”
“Did he get better?” Lawyer Will Kemp asked Aiken in the deposit.
“Yes,” Aiken replied.
It is unclear whether Aiken warned the company about his dog’s illness and the potential water problem. However, Aiken said that whatever the potential problem, it was not his fault.
When U.S. and federal investigators searched Real Water’s facilities in March, Blain Jones, the son of Real Water owner Brent Jones, turned to Aiken. According to Aiken, Blaine asked him if he had changed the amount of concentrate the company added to their water. Aiken told attorney Kemp, “I did everything exactly the way I was told.”
But Aiken’s testimony suggests that he did not receive adequate training for his role. Blaine Jones was the one who promoted Aiken to lead technician and provided training in just a few hours. Aiken was tasked with testing water for contaminants with a device called an oxidation reduction potential meter. “I didn’t know what it was at all until he explained it to me and showed it to me,” Aiken said.
In support of Aiken’s suggestion that the company should have been aware of the potential water problems back in November, a lawsuit filed by Kemp v. Real Water claimed that the company had tried to reclaim some of the suspected water. According to the Review-Journal, the application states:
Real Water began secretly replacing 5 gallons of water that had already been delivered to customers for home delivery without informing customers of the reason for the replacement … Real Water was able to recover only part of the water for home delivery and that hundreds of gallons the water that Real Water knew was real was toxic, it stayed in Clark County households
Since state and federal investigations began in March, Real Water has recalled its alkaline water products, which are available nationwide. However, the Food and Drug Administration said some of the products were still available online.
“It is crucial that consumers, restaurants, distributors and retailers do not drink, cook with, sell or serve real water alkaline water,” the FDA said in its latest update of the investigation. “The FDA also advises that this water not be served to pets.”