The family of John Donald Rupp III, a DC Area teenager, is suing Phusion Projects, which manufactures the caffeinated alcoholic drink Four Loko, for his wrongful death. The 15-year-old died when a car hit him near his home last September. His family says that the collision happened after he drank Four Loko, which caused him to become disoriented.
In their wrongful death lawsuit, Rupp’s family accuses the drink maker of negligence and carelessness. They contend that Four Loko “desensitizes users to the symptoms of intoxication,” while upping the risk of injury related to alcohol.
The Food and Drunk Administration has warned that caffeine is not a safe food additive to mix with alcohol. Meantime, experts have said that drinks that have both alcohol and caffeine are associated with high-risk behavior. Weeks after Rupp’s passing, Phusion Project said it would take the stimulants, including caffeine, from its products.
Also a defendant in this wrongful death lawsuit is the RaceWay gas station, where Rupp bought the drink. Rupp’s parents say that the station clerk let their son, who is a minor, buy the drink.
DC Products Liability
If you believe that a food or beverage caused you to become sick or disoriented or behave in a strange manner, you may have reason to file a Washington DC injury claim against the party that sold, made, or provided you with the beverage. Food and drink manufacturers are supposed to make sure that the products that they make are not contaminated or spoiled or contain any substances that could cause serious injury or death.
Prior to the pedestrian accident, Rupp drank two cans of Four Loko. He had been attending a concert and staff there called his mom to ask that she get him because of his “erratic and agitated” behavior. Rupp then left on his own on foot. He either fell or sat on a highway where he was hit by a motor vehicle.
Family Sues Manassas Gas Station After Son’s Death, ManassasPatch, May 27, 2011
Maker of Four Loko hit with wrongful death suit, Chicago Tribune, May 19, 2011
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