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Energy Drink Lawsuits Point to Safety Issues and False Advertising

Energy Drink Lawsuits Point to Safety Issues and False Advertising

A decade ago, a class-action lawsuit against Red Bull accusing the manufacturer of false advertising was settled for $13 million. Anyone who had purchased a Red Bull between 2002 and 2014 was eligible to receive cash or free Red bull products. Since then, we’ve seen a variety of lawsuits against makers of energy drinks for a wide variety of reasons. Below, I’ll detail whether the drinks live up to the makers’ claims, discuss some serious safety issues with these products, and let you know what to be on the lookout for. If you have been injured by an energy drink, Buttafuoco & Associates’ Northern New Jersey product liability attorneys may be able to help. Get in touch to discuss your rights during a free consultation.

Red Bull and False Advertising

The false advertising case against Red Bull back in 2014 may seem far-fetched to some. In a nutshell, the company, which had been using the slogan “Red Bull gives you wings” for over 20 years, faced false advertising charges from consumers. It wasn’t that people believed the drink would literally allow them to grow wings, but because metaphorically, the company was claiming that their drink could enhance performance, reaction time, and concentration. Though many consumers are loyal to the beverage for this reason, there is no evidence that it has a positive impact on cognition or reaction time. Angry consumers at the time accused Red Bull of deceptiveness and fraud. In the end, the company settled the lawsuit, but did not admit wrongdoing. A second lawsuit was filed in 2016 in Canada, which was just recently settled in 2019.

While the Red Bull lawsuit may not seem particularly problematic on its surface, false advertising is a serious issue in the energy drink industry. If you have a particular health condition, you could be vulnerable to serious illness or even wrongful death.

Prime Hydration Class Action Suits

A more recent example of problematic advertising practices on the part of an energy drink company is Prime Hydration, founded in 2022 by Logan Paul and KSI. The products were an immediate hit, but now the company is facing several class action suits in regard to the ingredients in their beverages.

In April 2024, the company was sued in the Southern District of New York, when victims alleged that they used misleading and deceptive practices. Case in point: the energy drinks contained not 200 milligrams of caffeine as advertised, but in fact had 215-225 milligrams per serving. Consumers who filed the suit claimed they would not have made the purchase had they known the actual caffeine content.

While 200 milligrams may not sound like a lot, it’s twice as much caffeine one would find in a Red Bull energy drink, and more than twice as much in two cups of coffee. There is the potential for caffeine to be especially harmful for children, who are frequent consumers of these drinks, as well as people with specific health conditions, which I’ll detail below.

Panera Charged Lemonade Deaths

Another well-known lawsuit involving energy drinks was brought to court in 2024 when two people–one of whom was a 21-year-old woman with a heart condition–died after drinking Panera’s Charged Lemonade. The second death was a 46-year-old man who died of a cardiac event after drinking the beverage.

Again, the issue addressed by the lawsuits was the caffeine content in a large Charged Lemonade, which is equivalent to the amount in five 8-ounce cans of Red Bull. Both lawsuits made a similar claim: that the product was not advertised as an energy drink, so consumers did not expect the drink to have an exorbitant caffeine content.

Are Energy Drinks Safe?

Deaths from energy drinks are rare, and drinking one occasionally is unlikely to be harmful, but for people with heart conditions, they can be downright dangerous. There are also a variety of unregulated supplemental ingredients in the drinks like taurine, which can significantly increase heart rates when combined with caffeine. They can also be more harmful to people who take stimulant medications for ADHD.

If you experience heart palpitations, a severe headache, chest pain, severe sweating, or other symptoms after drinking an energy drink, it may be wise to seek medical attention.

Do I Need a Northern New Jersey Product Liability Lawyer?

If you or a loved one has suffered serious health consequences or feels misled by advertising in regard to an energy drink, you may in fact have a case. Buttafuoco & Associates has long championed everyday consumers in lawsuits against careless and harmful corporations. If you suspect that you were harmed by an energy drink, get in touch with us to learn more about your rights.

Call 1-800-NOW-HURT today.


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