CHICAGO – A wrongful death lawsuit was filed Thursday against the Chicago-based maker of Four Loko by the family of a teen who was struck and killed by a car after downing two cans of the controversial drink.
The family of Washington, D.C., teen John Donald Rupp III say the party drink targets underage drinkers and should be banned, the Chicago Tribune reported.
The lawsuit claims the maker of Four Loko, Phusion Projects, was "careless and negligent" in producing a caffeinated, alcoholic beverage that "desensitizes users to the symptoms of intoxication and increases the potential for alcohol-related harm."
Rupp was struck by a car near his home in September last year after becoming disoriented following his consumption of the drink, the family claims in the lawsuit. He died in a hospital the following day.
Phusion Projects called the teen's death tragic, but said that the drink was for people over 21, and the issue raised "serious societal concerns regarding the misuse of alcohol," including underage drinking.
The drink, which had a high alcohol and caffeine content and has been banned in some states, was replaced with a caffeine-free version in November.