The technician oversaw water testing at one of Real Water’s Southern Nevada bottling plants.
During an ongoing U.S. Food and Drug Administration investigation into liver illnesses allegedly caused by Real Water, a Las Vegas-based water brand, it was discovered that the company hired a man with almost no experience in the business to oversee testing.
“Never heard of it, never drank it, never seen it,” said Aiken about being hired to lawyers during a videotaped deposition. The deposition is in connection with at least 10 civil complaints that have been filed against Real Water, reported The Review Journal.
In August, Aiken was offered a pay raise and a new job at the Henderson plant by the company’s president, secretary and treasurer, Blain Jones, reported The Review Journal.
As part of this new role, tasks required him to test for contaminants using an oxidation reduction potential meter. According to Aiken, he received only a couple of hours of hands-on training from Blain Jones.
In April, Real Water turned over a pair of the oxidation meters to be secured as exhibits in the lawsuits, reported The Review Journal.
According to the suit, Aiken partly reported in his deposition that the company learned of people becoming sick late last year.
“Real Water began to surreptitiously replace 5-gallon water that had already been delivered to home delivery customers without informing customers of the reason for the replacement,” Aiken stated, reported The Review Journal. “Real Water was only able to recover some of the home delivery water and that hundreds of gallons of water that Real Water had actual knowledge was toxic remained in households throughout Clark County.”
Since March, dozens of people who reported being hospitalized with liver failure after drinking Real Water have sued the company.
The drinking water may be linked to certain instances of non-viral hepatitis, which were reported in or around the month of November 2020 in the Las Vegas, Nevada area, according to the FDA.
The first recall of Real Water occurred after an investigation by the Southern Nevada Health District and the FDA after reported cases of non-viral hepatitis in or about November 2020 were suspected to be potentially linked to Real Water’s 5-gallon Home and Office Delivery, reported the FDA. As a result, Real Water issued the recall on Mar. 17, 2021 after being notified of the investigation.