The Michigan-based company, Living Essentials and its parent company, Innovation
Ventures, are being sued by the states of Oregon, Vermont, and Washington
over allegations that they misrepresented their 5-Hour Energy drink. Comparable
suits are expected to be filed by other states in the upcoming weeks.
The states are accusing the manufacturer of the caffeinated energy drink
of marketing their product in such a way that misled consumers. The Oregon
lawsuit claims that 5-Hour Energy is advertised to contain a unique blend
of ingredients designed to boost energy, when in reality the only energy-boosting
component is a concentrated measure of caffeine. Furthermore, the lawsuit
claims that consumers were deceived into believing the beverage would
not leave them with the post-caffeine let down, and that the product had
been recommended by physicians.
The three states are requesting civil penalties, compensation for consumers,
and a permanent injunction forbidding the allegedly dishonest advertising
claims of 5-Hour Energy.
The popular energy drink, consumed at a rate of about 9 million a week,
came under fire after thirty-three states began an investigation of the
product in 2012. Consumers have filed civil lawsuits which are currently
pending in other U.S. courts against the 5-Hour Energy manufacturers.
What Constitutes False Advertising?
The term false advertising refers to an omission of facts, or a misrepresentation
of facts that is likely to cause a reasonably thinking consumer to make
a choice they probably would have not made under similar circumstances.
Federal and state laws prohibiting false advertising are meant to protect
consumers from being misled, and to safeguard competitors from untrue
product claims that might blemish their brands, goods, or services.
In addition to facing legal and financial repercussions from the Federal
Trade Commission, a company that participates in false advertising could
lose substantial amounts of money in ads that must be pulled and fines,
as well as legal fees and money paid to consumers if they are sued.
Acts false advertising also destroy trust consumers have placed in their
favorite brands and companies. Feeling betrayed, customers will turn to
other companies for equitable products or services. This translates into
lost revenue and a potentially bad reputation which will hurt business
in the future.
Additionally, false advertising can cause physical or emotional harm to
consumers. For instance, claiming that a food is sugar-free when it is
not, or omitting an important fact about a product or service are all
ways consumers can be hurt by false advertising.
Consumer Protection Lawyers
If you or a loved one has been harmed by misleading or false advertising,
you may have cause to file a claim. The lawyers at Golomb & Honik
are actively investigating consumer claims regarding deceptive and fraudulent
advertising, labeling, and other types of marketing. For a free review
of your case, call the
Pennsylvania consumer protection lawyers at Golomb & Honik today at
1-800-355-3300 or 1-215-985-9177 or fill out our confidential
consumer protection lawyers
at Golomb & Honik have successfully represented individuals in Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and throughout the United States.