By Patience Haggin
(Reuters) – Oregon, Washington and Vermont sued the makers of 5-Hour Energy on Thursday for allegedly deceptive and misleading advertising, and said similar suits will follow in other states in the coming weeks.
The Oregon lawsuit was filed in Multnomah County Circuit Court against the makers of the caffeine-charged beverage, Michigan-based manufacturer Living Essentials and its parent company Innovation Ventures [IVLL.UL].
Washington and Vermont filed similar suits, according to a statement released by Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson.
All three states are seeking a permanent injunction prohibiting 5-Hour Energy’s allegedly deceptive marketing practices, as well as civil penalties and restitution to consumers.
“Plainly and simply, in Oregon you cannot promote a product as being effective if you don’t have sufficient evidence to back up your advertising claims,” Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum said in a statement.
A representative for 5-Hour Energy described the Oregon suit’s allegations as “grasping at straws” and “civil intimidation” and said the companies would fight to defend themselves.
In its lawsuit, Oregon said advertising for 5-Hour Energy claimed the drink contained a unique combination of ingredients to boost energy, whereas its only effective ingredient was a concentrated dose of caffeine.
The lawsuit also said consumers had been misled with claims that the drink would not cause them to experience a “crash” like the one that typically follows a caffeine high, and that it had been recommended by doctors.
Living Essentials said it sells about 9 million bottles of 5-Hour Energy each week.
A spokeswoman for Rosenblum said other states would file similar suits over the next few days, and still more in the coming weeks.
The lawsuits are the result of an investigation launched in 2012 by 33 states, in which Oregon, Tennessee, Maryland and Vermont have taken the lead.
Living Essentials and Innovation Ventures are also facing pending civil lawsuits from consumers over 5-Hour Energy in other U.S. courts.
The Oregon case is State of Oregon ex rel Ellen Rosenblum v Living Essentials LLC and Innovation Ventures LLC, Circuit Court of the State of Oregon.
The Washington case is State of Washington v Living Essentials LLC and Innovation Ventures LLC, King County Superior Court of the State of Washington.
Details of the Vermont suit were not immediately available.
(Reporting by Patience Haggin; Editing by Ted Botha and Mohammad Zargham)
[Image via Flickr user Internet Persona, Creative Commons licensed]
Mnuchin begs Chris Wallace: Take the president ‘very literally’ except on being ‘the chosen one’
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin insisted on Sunday that Americans should take President Donald Trump's hyperbolic comments "very literally" -- but he allowed for some exceptions.
During an interview on FOX News Sunday, host Chris Wallace noted that Trump had recently "ordered" companies not to do business with China.
"When the president says something, how seriously, how literally should we take it?" Wallace asked.
"I think most of the time, you should take it very literally," Mnuchin insisted. "I think sometimes he says things that are meant to be a joke."
White House spokesperson ridiculed for ‘pathetic’ spin on Trump’s trade war admission: ‘Does she think we believe that?’
Hours after Donald Trump blithely admitted that he had "second thoughts" about his trade war with China that has damaged the U.S. economy and helped set the stage for a possible recession, White House spokesperson Stephanie Grisham was forced to issue a clarification about the president's comments.
Addressing Trump's G7 response about his tariffs, widely interpreted by the press as expressing some regret, Grisham issued a statement saying the president meant that he wished he had increased his market-destroying tariffs even more.
"The President was asked if he had ‘any second thought on escalating the trade war with China,'" White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham relayed. "His answer has been greatly misinterpreted. President Trump responded in the affirmative - because he regrets not raising the tariffs higher."
Here is why Trump is obsessed with Greenland
They say that history repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as farce. Remember that President Harry Truman tried to purchase Greenland in 1946; now, in 2019, President Donald Trump is trying to do the same thing.
This article first appeared in Salon.
To be clear, Trump’s farcical, “absurd” idea — to borrow the adjective used by Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen — is not happening, and was never going to happen. As Frederiksen pointed out, Greenland is “not for sale." Trump, for his part, has not backed down from the idea.