| NEW YORK
NEW YORK Jan 16 Red Bull, the popular energy
drink whose slogan is "gives you wings," provides no more energy
than a cup of coffee or a caffeine pill, according to a lawsuit
made public on Wednesday.
The lawsuit claims that Red Bull uses deceptive marketing to
charge a premium for a product whose claims are largely
"Defendants are able to charge and get a substantial premium
for their products over readily available and much lower priced
sources of caffeine that provide the same or substantially
similar results," the lawsuit said.
Energy drinks like Red Bull have become increasingly popular
in recent years, but have also faced increased scrutiny. In
October, the Food and Drug Administration said it was
investigating reports of five deaths that may be associated with
the Monster energy drink, made by Monster Beverage Corp
The lawsuit against Red Bull was filed Tuesday in U.S.
District Court for the Southern District of New York and was
made public Wednesday. The lead plaintiff is Benjamin Careathers
of the Bronx, New York, who has been drinking Red Bull since
2002, according to the lawsuit.
It cited recent reports in the scientific journal Nutrition
Reviews and in The New York Times casting doubt on claims made
by makers of energy drinks.
An 8.4-ounce can of Red Bull costs at least $2.19 and
contains 80 milligrams of caffeine, the lawsuit said. By
comparison, a tablet of regular strength NoDoz costs about 30
cents and contains 100 mg of caffeine, it said. "Even a 12 ounce
serving of Starbucks coffee costs $1.85 and would contain far
more caffeine than a regular serving of Red Bull," the lawsuit
The lawsuit seeks an injunction requiring the company to
stop advertising that the drink can provide benefits it does not
and to correct "any erroneous impression consumers may have
derived concerning the nature, characteristics, or qualities of
Red Bull." It also asks for restitution of all funds the company
acquired from the plaintiffs by means that the court deems
Officials with Red Bull and Benedict Morelli, an attorney
with Morelli Alters Ratner in New York, did not immediately
respond to requests for comment.