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Thursday, June 20, 2024 | Back issues
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Energy Drink Adviser Faces Consumer Wrath

(CN) - A woman who had a seizure after consuming an energy drink can sue a member of the manufacturer's medical advisory board, a Louisiana appeals court ruled.

Diana Becnel is a personal trainer and owner of a day spa and salon.

Persuaded by Advocare's "seeming commitment to health, nutrition, wellness and fitness," Becnel said she became interested in becoming a seller.

After trying Advocare's "SLAM" energy drink, however, Becnel allegedly felt its effects before she could throw the bottle into the trash. She passed out and was taken to the hospital, where she was diagnosed with a seizure and a myocardial infarction.

Becnel sued Advocare and its Scientific and Medical Advisory Board last year for negligent representation. Her husband and daughter joined the lawsuit, claiming loss of consortium.

Though the St. Charles Parish District Court dismissed all of the claims against Leanne Redman, a member of Advocare's board, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal reversed that decision on Dec. 16.

The ruling emphasizes Becnel's allegation that the defendants should have known that SLAM's ingredients were "similar to the ingredients in 5-Hour Energy," and that they "should have known of the 90 filings with the FDA that mentioned 5-Hour Energy."

These allegations are enough to go to trial, according to the ruling, which Judge Fredericka Homberg Wicker wrote for a three-member panel.

Advocare's medical board must face claims that they should have placed a warning label on the SLAM drink, according to the decision.

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