Woman Sues over “Blackout” Drink

A woman seriously injured in a car crash is blaming the maker of an alcoholic energy drink, according to a lawsuit filed Friday. The woman, 20, was ejected from a car on State Road 417 in an August crash. The driver of the car, 20, who is also named a defendant in the suit, drank the energy drink before she struck another car while driving at a high rate of speed.

The suit, which comes days after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a warning to the maker of the energy drink and three other drink makers, was filed against the company.The convenience store that sold the drinks, was also named as a defendant. “We filed this suit against the makers of this beverage because we believe this drink is dangerous,” said the lawyer. “My client nearly died.”

According to published reports, a man filed a lawsuit against the drink manufacturer because his son drank the energy drinks before committing suicide. The FDA on Wednesday warned the company and other caffeine-alcohol drink manufacturers that caffeine in the drinks was “an unsafe food additive” and further action against them was possible.

Experts have voiced concerns that the caffeine in a drink could mask some sensory cues that people rely on to determine how drunk they are. The FDA said drinking such beverages could lead to risky behavior and hazardous situations. On Thursday, Massachusetts became the fifth state in the nation to ban alcohol mixed energy drinks, known as “blackouts in a can.”

The latest lawsuit claims the company was motivated by financial gain in mixing alcohol with stimulants “to create a physiological effect in its customers so they could drink more alcohol.”

The drinks are popular among students looking for a quick buzz. Officials have warned the drinks encourage binge-drinking behavior. The energy drink in question which is premixed with the stimulants taurine, guarine and caffeine, are made to appeal to younger drinkers because “it tastes more like a soft drink than an alcoholic beverage,” the lawsuit states.

In addition to Massachusetts, the product has been outlawed in Washington, Michigan, Utah and Oklahoma. Liquor distributors in Connecticut are voluntarily stopping shipments of the products.

“The presence of stimulants in an alcoholic beverage is a dangerous and potentially fatal combination,” the suit states. “Because the consumer will engage in dangerous behavior such as driving because he or she will not feel intoxicated.”

If you or a loved one has been injured to due a defective product or injured as a result of someone elses’s intoxication call my offices in Baltimore or Rockville for an appointment or phone consultation at 1-800-320-0080 now.