The parents of a 20-year-old Florida State University student who died after he consumed three cans of the alcoholic energy drink Four Loko are suing the product’s company Phusion Projects LLC in a possible product liability suit. Drinking three cans of Four Loko is the equivalent of drinking 18 light beers and 6 cups of coffee.
The parents’ attorney has said that the young man partied for 30 hours straight and got possession of a friend’s gun. After getting possession of the gun, the college student started to behave crazy, pointed the gun at his head and asked his friends to take the gun away from him. The young man’s friends were not able to grab the gun and the young man shot himself. The parents of the 20-year-old believe Four Loko put their son in an unpredictable and frenzied state which led to their son accidentally shooting himself on September 17.
Four Loko is a fruit flavored alcoholic drink that contains caffeine and comes in a 23.5 ounce can. It contains around 12 percent of alcohol by volume and contains 156 milligrams of caffeine. It also contains the stimulants guarana and taurine. Four Loko and other caffeinated alcoholic beverages have come under review by the Food and Drug Administration and other United States regulatory bodies. Because of mounting safety concerns, regulators are expected to ban the sale of alcoholic drinks that contain caffeine.
According to Senator Charles E. Schumer the FDA plans to rule caffeine as an unsafe additive for alcoholic drinks and plans to inform companies that make the drinks that they are illegally marketing unsafe alcoholic drinks. Four Loko has been banned in four states. Phusion Projects LLC plans to remove the drink’s stimulants in response to concerns over safety of the product.
Source: Red Orbit, “FDA Could Ban Caffeinated Alcoholic Beverages,” 11/17/10