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Issue Date: Vol. 54, No. 8, August 2014, Posted On: 7/18/2014

Lawsuits Target Popular Energy Drink

Nick Montano
TAGS: energy drink, vending machine, vending, 5-Hour Energy, Living Essentials LLC, Melissa Skabich, 5-Hour Energy lawsuite

PORTLAND, OR -- Two attorneys general from the Northwest this week have filed lawsuits against the makers of the popular 5-Hour Energy shot, claiming they engaged in deceptive advertising.

The Oregon lawsuit filed July 17 in Portland alleges that 5-Hour Energy falsely claims customers get extra energy and focus from a unique blend of ingredients, when the boost actually comes from a concentrated dose of caffeine. The suit also challenges claims that the product is OK for adolescents and that consumers don't experience a crash when the effects subside.

Oregon is part of a group leading a 33-state investigation into the accuracy of the product's claims. In Washington state, the attorney general filed a similar lawsuit in King County Superior Court in Seattle.

The lawsuits name Living Essentials LLC and Innovation Ventures LLC as defendants.

A spokesperson for 5-Hour Energy said the suits amount to civil intimidation and that the companies behind 5-Hour Energy will defend themselves. "When companies are being bullied by someone in a position of power, these companies roll over, pay the ransom,and move on," said Melissa Skabich. "We're not doing that."

States investigations into 5-Hour Energy are focused on products safety. In November 2012, the Food and Drug Administration said in that it had received more than 90 reports in a four-year period about illnesses, hospitalizations and deaths after the consumption of 5-Hour Energy. However, the FDA said that the reports did not prove that the energy drink caused the problems.

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