Oregon’s attorney general filed a lawsuit in Portland against Living Essentials LLC and Innovation Ventures LLC, claiming that 5-Hour Energy’s claims that consumers get extra energy and focus from a unique blend of ingredients is false, that the jolt just comes from a concentrated dose of caffeine, reports the Associated Press.
It also takes issue with 5-Hour Energy bragging that customers don’t experience a crash after the effects of the drink have worn off, and that it’s safe for adolescents.
Washington’s suit filed in Seattle is similar, and it likely won’t be the last state to do so, says a spokeswoman for the Oregon Department of Justice. The state has been leading a 33-state investigation into the product’s claims.
Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum says the drink violates the state’s Unlawful Trade Practices Act, and is seeking monetary penalties as well as refunds to anyone who bought the decaffeinated version of the product in Oregon.
The lawsuit says that drink has no extra energy or alertness, after Rosenblum’s office has fought to get unredacted information showing exactly how the drink’s formula achieves its purported effects.
“Plainly and simply, in Oregon you cannot promote a product as being effective if you don’t have sufficient evidence to back up your advertising claims,” Rosenblum said.
A spokeswoman for 5-Hour Energy says the drink won’t go down without a fight, calling the lawsuits civil intimidation.
“When companies are being bullied by someone in a position of power, these companies roll over, pay the ransom, and move on,” a spokeswoman said in a statement. “We’re not doing that.”
States sue 5-Hour Energy over ad claims [Associated Press]