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 (U.S. Dist. Ct., 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.