A woman injured in a car accident has filed a lawsuit against Four Loco, the makers of the controversial drink that combines alcohol and caffeine. The lawsuit against Four Loco claims that the driver of the car the woman was in had drank Four Loco before the car accident that injured the Plaintiff. The lawsuit names the driver (presumably the woman’s friend), Four Loco’s manufacturer, and even drags in the convenience store that sold the Four Loco. (The great, great grandson of the first man to combine rum and coke was not named.)
2013 Update: Here is a settlement in another one of these cases.
I am assuming the lawsuit stems from the FDA’s warning last week that Four Loco and other caffeine-alcohol drink manufacturers have used caffeine as an unsafe food additive in the drinks. The FDA left the door open for further action.
Plaintiff’s lawyer’s theory of the case must be that because Four Loco masks sensory receptors that clue us in to the fact that we have drank too much, the driver did not know how much drinking they had done.
Plaintiff’s attorney has likely brought Four Loco into this because the driver has inadequate insurance to cover the Plaintiff’s loss. I’m all in favor of trying to find creative ways to maximize the value of an accident case, but obviously the driver knew that the drink combines alcohol and caffeine. Is Plaintiff’ really going to be able to argue that the hidden risk of Four Loco was a substantial contributing cause to this car accident? What expert is going to say that the masking agent of caffeine was a substantial contributing cause of this crash?
I think this lawsuit never makes it to a jury. And, while I’m not a big fan of alcohol manufacturers, I think this is a good thing.