The Living Essentials legal team might need a solid supply of their 5-Hour Energy product on hand as the list of complaints grows. Last week, a class action suit was filed against the company in Pennsylvnia, stating its “no-crash” claim is false advertising, according to law360.com.
Plaintiffs Donna A. Thompson and Michael R. Casey sued Innovation Ventures LLC, which does business as Living Essentials, claiming the product it markets as a healthy vitamin-filled energy drink is actually "nothing more than a shot of caffeine."
Advertising watchdog group, the National Advertising Division, an affiliate of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, is also reviewing the claim, the New York Times reported last month. The group told the Times it's been telling 5-Hour Energy to drop the “no crash” claim ever since a clinical trial run by the group five years ago showed that the product resulted in a "moderately severe crash" in nearly 25 percent of users. After that trial, Living Essentials added an asterisk-like mark after the claim on product labels and in promotions. The mark referred to additional labeling language stating that “no crash means no sugar crash.” Unlike Red Bull and Monster Energy, 5-Hour Energy does not contain sugar.
“The emerging dispute between Living Essentials and the National Advertising Division is unusual because the $10 billion energy drink industry is rife with questionable marketing,” said the Times.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has received 92 reports over four years that cite illnesses, hospitalizations and deaths after drinking a product marketed as 5-Hour Energy, reported latino.foxnews.com.
Many fans of the drink remain unconcerned. The same week the class action suit was filed, a man in Easton, Pa. was arrested for trying to steal five six-packs of 5-Hour Energy from a CVS, reported lehighvalleylive.com. Mainlinemedianews.com reported that another fan has been stealthily chugging cans of the stuff several times a week in a Wawa store in Haverford, Pa., where he leaves the empties without paying. That fan is still at large, though probably not far from Wawa, as he/she has probably crashed by now.