According to news sources, a New Jersey tire salesman has filed a personal
injury lawsuit in a state court against the company that makes Four Loko®, an
alcoholic beverage that until late 2010 also contained caffeine; he alleges that
after drinking two and one-half cans, he was taken to a hospital with heart
arrhythmia. Mustica v. Phusion Projects, No. __ (N.J. Super. Ct., Atlantic Cty.,
filed March 16, 2011). Each can purportedly contained the equivalent of three
cans of beer and the same amount of caffeine as two cups of coffee. While
the maker of the energy drink apparently continues to maintain that mixing
alcohol and caffeine is safe, it agreed to remove caffeine from the product in
November 2010.

The plaintiff claims that he consumed the beverage on a visit to Atlantic
City in October, fell asleep and, on waking, had a racing heart and trouble
breathing. Alleging permanent heart damage, the plaintiff also claims that
the company “deceitfully packaged” the product to target youth and failed to
provide warnings about the potential health risks of mixing a depressant with
a stimulant. See MSNBC.com, NJ.com, and Associated Press, March 21, 2011.

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For decades, manufacturers, distributors and retailers at every link in the food chain have come to Shook, Hardy & Bacon to partner with a legal team that understands the issues they face in today's evolving food production industry. Shook attorneys work with some of the world's largest food, beverage and agribusiness companies to establish preventative measures, conduct internal audits, develop public relations strategies, and advance tort reform initiatives.

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