Red Bull Settlement Reached to Resolve False Advertising Class Action Lawsuit

The makers of Red Bull have agreed to pay $13 million to settle false advertising claims involving the popular energy drink, which could lead to anyone who has consumed Red Bull over the last several years qualifying for a part of the settlement. 

According to terms of the Red Bull settlement, individuals who have purchased at least one can of the popular drink over the last 10 years may qualify to receive either a $10 payment or two free Red Bull products worth about $15.

The agreement comes as part of a Red Bull false advertising class action lawsuit filed in January by Benjamin Careathers in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

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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.

The lawsuit claims the Red Bull website stated 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.

Red Bull has denied liability in the case, indicating that it is only agreeing to the settlement to put the litigation behind the company.

An energy drink settlement page has been set up for those interested in participating in the class action.

Red Bull drinkers have a number of options. They can do nothing, which would mean getting no payment and surrendering their right to sue regarding this issue in the future; they can fill out forms that would allow them to claim either the money or the free products; they can exclude themselves from the class action, which would allow them to file a lawsuit on the issue in the future; or they can object to the settlement and tell the court why it should not be approved.

A hearing on the settlement is scheduled for May 1, 2015.

The agreement comes as the makers of Red Bull and other popular energy drinks have come under close scrutiny by federal regulators and lawmakers, following a number of deaths and a number of reported health problems linked to consumption of the highly caffeinated beverages.

In recent years, many energy drink makers attempted to avoid FDA regulation by claiming the products are a dietary supplement, which has allowed them to avoid disclosing the levels of caffeine and other stimulants in their products.

According to information released 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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