A California resident has filed a putative class action against the companies
that make, distribute and sell Four Loko®, a 6- to 12-percent alcoholic
beverage with caffeine. Richardson v. Phusion Projects, LLC, No. 11-0456 (S.D. Cal., filed March 4, 2011). The plaintiff alleges that she purchased
Four Loko Fruit Punch at $3 per can based on its advertising and labeling,
which purportedly failed to warn her “of the particular dangers of drinking a
caffeinated beverage with high alcoholic content.” She alleges that she was
misled into purchasing a dangerous beverage and claims “injury in fact and a
loss of money or property in that she has been deprived of the benefit of her
bargain and has spent money purchasing Four Loko at a price premium when
it actually had significantly less value than was reflected in the price she paid
for it.”

The complaint alleges unfair competition, false advertising, violation of the
Consumers Legal Remedies Act, and fraudulent concealment. Seeking to
certify a nationwide class of consumers and a California consumer subclass,
the plaintiff asks for damages, declaratory and injunctive relief, disgorgement,
restitution, corrective advertising, attorney’s fees, and costs.

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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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