As a Seattle personal injury attorney I know just how devastating the wrongful death of a loved one can be for family and friends. My Bellevue wrongful death law firm handles many cases where a family member was killed in an auto accident or workplace accident. But losing a child is probably the hardest thing a parent will ever have to face.
15-year-old Bo Rupp died last September after consuming two cans of the popular alcoholic beverage Four Loko, which has already been pulled from the shelf following a warning from the FDA. Nicknamed “blackout in a can” by young drinkers, during the first few months on the shelf Four Loko was blamed for alcohol poisoning and binge drinking incidents across the country. The product was voluntarily recalled by the makers Phusion Projects who were ultimately forced to remove the caffeine from the product by the FDA, which warned that caffeine was an “unsafe food additive.”
Rupp’s mom, Karla Rupp is now suing Phusion Projects for the wrongful death of her beloved teenage son. Even though he was under the legal drinking age at the time that he consumed the beverage, Karla believes that the drinks are designed to appeal to teens. Her lawsuit alleges that Phusion Projects “was careless and negligent in formulating a caffeinated, alcoholic beverage that desensitizes users to the symptoms of intoxication, and increases the potential for alcohol-related harm.”
As a Kent wrongful death attorney what I find most disturbing is the fact that all of this negative publicity has only made Four Loko more popular. Even without the caffeine additive, the product is still flying off the shelf and many teens think that it is cool to post on social networking sites such as Facebook that they are “getting Loko’d.” Underage drinking is a serious problem that needs to be addressed and colorful products like this that only mask the taste of alcohol are not helping.