Three U.S. states sue 5-Hour Energy drink
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[July 18, 2014]
By Patience Haggin
(Reuters) - Oregon, Washington and Vermont
sued the makers of 5-Hour Energy on Thursday for allegedly deceptive and
misleading advertising, and said similar suits will follow in other
states in the coming weeks.
The Oregon lawsuit was filed in Multnomah County Circuit Court
against the makers of the caffeine-charged beverage, Michigan-based
manufacturer Living Essentials and its parent company Innovation
Washington and Vermont filed similar suits, according to a statement
released by Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson.
All three states are seeking a permanent injunction prohibiting
5-Hour Energy’s allegedly deceptive marketing practices, as well as
civil penalties and restitution to consumers.
“Plainly and simply, in Oregon you cannot promote a product as being
effective if you don’t have sufficient evidence to back up your
advertising claims,” Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum said in
A representative for 5-Hour Energy described the Oregon suit’s
allegations as “grasping at straws” and “civil intimidation” and
said the companies would fight to defend themselves.
In its lawsuit, Oregon said advertising for 5-Hour Energy claimed
the drink contained a unique combination of ingredients to boost
energy, whereas its only effective ingredient was a concentrated
dose of caffeine.
The lawsuit also said consumers had been misled with claims that the
drink would not cause them to experience a “crash” like the one that
typically follows a caffeine high, and that it had been recommended
Living Essentials said it sells about 9 million bottles of 5-Hour
Energy each week.
A spokeswoman for Rosenblum said other states would file similar
suits over the next few days, and still more in the coming weeks.
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The lawsuits are the result of an investigation launched in 2012 by
33 states, in which Oregon, Tennessee, Maryland and Vermont have
taken the lead.
Living Essentials and Innovation Ventures are also facing pending
civil lawsuits from consumers over 5-Hour Energy in other U.S.
The Oregon case is State of Oregon ex rel Ellen Rosenblum v Living
Essentials LLC and Innovation Ventures LLC, Circuit Court of the
State of Oregon.
The Washington case is State of Washington v Living Essentials LLC
and Innovation Ventures LLC, King County Superior Court of the State
Details of the Vermont suit were not immediately available.
(Reporting by Patience Haggin; Editing by Ted Botha and Mohammad
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