Thursday, September 21, 2023
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Classes Call Energy Drinks Just Caffeine Shots

HACKENSACK, N.J. (CN) - Two class actions claim that Stacker-2 and 5-Hour Energy drinks are just "nondisclosed caffeine shots," lacking the folic acid and vitamin B that the companies claim for them. Both complaints were filed by the same attorney-plaintiff, in Bergen County Court.

Harold Hoffman claims that NVE Pharmaceuticals (Stacker-2) and Living Essentials (5-Hour Energy) both advertise their products as "two fluid ounces of a liquid that if consumed ... enhances the consumer's sharpness, alertness and energy level for five hours," thanks to a "specifically formulated blend of B-vitamins" and other ingredients.

Hoffman calls the vitamin claims deceptive advertising, a claim he says he can support with a "detailed, independent, third-party laboratory analysis."

Hoffman says that NVE Pharmaceuticals pushes Stacker-2 with the bogus claim that it contains "400 mg of folic acid." He says analysis shows the drug "contains approximately 40% of the represented concentration."

Hoffman adds that Stacker-2 contains 156 mg of caffeine, far more than is delivered by a "brewed cup of coffee" as the company states in its advertising.

He says Living Essentials misrepresents the contents of its 5-Hour Energy product, also by overstating its folic acid content. Hoffman claims this drug contains "207 mg of caffeine," even more than Stacker-2, and that it "lacks the energy producing capabilities promised by defendant."

Folic acid is believed to reduce the incidence of some birth defects. And though the defendant companies might contest use of the word "drug" instead of "diet supplement," the distinction is purely legal and regulatory - not scientific.

Hoffman seeks punitive damages for consumer fraud.

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