Red Bull Class Action Lawsuit Filed Over False Advertising

A New York man has filed a class action lawsuit against Red Bull North America, Inc., claiming that the energy drink manufacturer has run false and misleading advertisements involving the effects of the highly caffeinated beverage. 

The Red Bull class action lawsuit (PDF) was filed by Benjamin Careathers on January 16, in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, seeking to represent all individuals who have purchased the energy drink.

According to the complaint, the manufacturer has made misleading claims that suggest studies have shown that drinking Red Bull would “significantly improve a consumer’s physiological and mental performance beyond what a simple cup of coffee or caffeine pill would do for a consumer’s physiological and mental performance.” The lawsuit alleges that there is no scientific research or reliable studies that back up the company’s claims.

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The lawsuit claims the Red Bull website states that there have been “numerous scientific studies” that prove the drink increases performance, concentration, reaction speed, vigilance, and stimulates metabolism. The site also allegedly claims that it improves your overall well being, the lawsuit adds.

Some recent studies and reports have determined that such claims made by Red Bull and other energy drink manufacturers have no basis in fact and that there is a lack of scientific support for the conclusions.

The class action lawsuit seeks to force Red Bull to discontinue false advertising practices, and to force Red Bull to pay restitution, compensation and other costs related to the allegedly misleading ads from profits it derived from Red Bull sales.

The lawsuit comes at a time when energy drinks are under close scrutiny by federal regulators and lawmakers, following a number of deaths and an increasing number of health problems linked to Red Bull, Monster, Rockstar, 5 Hour Energy and other similar products. The energy drink makers have avoided FDA regulation by claiming the products are a dietary supplement

According to information released in recent weeks by the FDA, there have been at least four deaths linked to Monster Energy Drinks and 13 deaths linked to 5 Hour Energy Shots.  In addition, side effects of Rockstar Energy Drinks have been cited in at least 13 non-fatal adverse event reports submitted to the FDA in recent years.

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