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Florida Attorney Files Lawsuit Against Popular Caffeinated Liquor

Four Loko – “blackout-in-a-can”
•       http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=four%20loko

Four Loko is now banned on college campuses across the country and in 3 states. More states are expected to ban the drink in coming weeks.
•       http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2010/11/oregon_liquor_control_bans_fou.html

LATEST LAWSUIT: Filed November 23, 2010

–       Miami/Orlando attorney John Elliott Leighton files a Complaint for Damages and Demand for Jury Trial with the Circuit Court of the 18th Judicial Circuit in Seminole County, Florida on behalf of plaintiff Briana McCarroll.

Complaint is against:
•       Phusion Projects, LLC (formulator, manufacturer, distributor, marketer and labeler of Four Loko)
•       Far Family Inc. d/b/a  Big Sammy’s (convenience store owner and operator)
•       Danielle Joseph (driver during incident; had consumed Four Loko)
•       Gregory Joseph (vehicle owner)
•       Hazel Joseph (vehicle owner)

–       Count I – Claim for Negligent Formula Against Phusion Projects, LLC
–      Count II – Claim for Negligent Manufacturing Against Phusion Projects, LLC
–       Count III – Negligent Failure to Warn Against Phusion Projects, LLC
–       Count IV – Negligent Marketing Against Phusion Projects, LLC
–       Count V – Negligent Labeling Against Phusion Projects, LLC
–       Count VI – Claim for Strict Liability Against Phusion Projects, LLC
–       Count VII – Claim for Negligence per se Against Far Family, In., d/b/a Big Sammy’s
–       Count VIII – Claim for Negligent Hiring, Training, Supervision and Retention Against Far Family, Inc., d/b/a Big Sammy’s
–       Count IX – Intentional Act: Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol Causing Injury Against Defendant, Danielle Joseph
–       Count X – Violation of the Florida Dangerous Instrumentality Doctrine Against Defendant, Gregory Joseph
–       Count XI – Violation of the Florida Dangerous Instrumentality Doctrine Against Defendant Hazel Joseph

Recent incidents of people crashing cars, people dying, severe illness with symptoms mimicking illegal drug use:
•       Previous lawsuit filed in relation to incident involving Briana McCarroll: http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2010-11-19/health/os-four-loko-lawsuit-car-crash-20101119_1_demetrius-jordan-alcoholic-energy-drink-phusion-projects
•       http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/2010/11/12/2010-11-12_marylanders_want_four_loko_off_shelves_after_controversial_cocktail_blamed_for_w.html
•       http://www.aolnews.com/surge-desk/article/roslyn-ruckus-blackout-in-a-can-to-blame-for-post-party-ailme/19688500

Combination of alcohol and caffeine
•       One can of Four Loko has the equivalent of five beers and a cup of Starbucks coffee.
•       Experts say the combination makes it difficult to monitor how intoxicated someone becomes.

FDA Intervention:
•       http://abcnews.go.com/Health/fda-weighing-ban-alcoholic-energy-drinks/story?id=12160466
•       The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued warning letters to four companies Wednesday for adding caffeine to their malt alcoholic beverages, according to an agency press release. The letters identified caffeine as an “unsafe food additive” and said that further action — including seizure of the caffeine-containing products — is possible under federal law.
•       http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/PublicHealthFocus/ucm234900.htm

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