Hip Alcohol Energy Drink Eyed in Student Overdoses

Posted October 27, 2010 in Products Liability by Arthur Buono

Washington State officials have fingered Four Loko, a caffeinated malt beverage, in this month’s mass overdose of University of Central Washington students. Nine of the students had to be hospitalized, and one nearly died. Four Loko’s popular with college students who want to get drunk cheaply and fast.

  • Alcohol "energy" drinks get kids drunk fast, cheap
  • FDA investigating safety of concoctions
  • Phusion Projects points finger at hard liquor consumed by victims
  • Copy this link to share with friends: http://bit.ly/bkrz0Z


Guests Getting Wasted Pose Risks for Social Hosts

A 23.5 oz can of Four Loko packs 12 percent alcohol by volume. This makes it equivalent to 4 regular beers or a whole bottle of wine. It sells for $2.50 a can, and comes in teen-friendly flavors like fruit punch and blue raspberry. It’s said the caffeine masks the alcohol’s effect, possibly leading to overdose by continued consumption. It should come as no surprise that the FDA has asked Four Loko’s maker, Phusion Projects, for evidence its product is safe.

If your small business is a potential target of a civil lawsuit because of a product you made, you’re going to take measures to control the damage. You’ll be calling your lawyer. One thing you might consider is taking steps to prevent the problem from happening again. In tort law these are called subsequent remedial measures. This might look like an admission from a public relations perspective, but subsequent remedial measures can’t be used as evidence your product was harmful to begin with.

If you happen to host a party where alcohol is served, be careful. Social host liability is gaining acceptance as a legal concept. If you host a party with lots of underage guests, be extra careful. States have begun to roll out laws holding hosts liable civilly and criminally for bad things that happen at drug and alcohol fueled underage parties.

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