Massachusetts settles with energy drink manufacturer


NEW YORK -- Massachusetts State Attorney General Martha Coakley is among 19 state attorneys general that have reached an agreement with a company accused of illegally marketing unsafe energy drinks.

The lawsuit alleged that Chicago-based Phusion Projects LLC promoted a beverage known as "Four Loko" to minors without disclosing the effects and consequences of drinking alcoholic drinks combined with caffeine, according to news reports on the Internet.

The group, which also included the city attorney of San Francisco, claimed Phusion Projects LLC promoted flavored malt beverages to underage persons; promoted dangerous and excessive consumption of those beverages; and failed to disclose to consumers the effects and consequences of drinking alcoholic beverages that are combined with caffeine.

They also claimed that before 2011, Phusion manufactured, marketed, and sold caffeinated beverages that are unsafe.

As part of the agreement, Phusion has agreed to discontinue a number of practices related to the sale and promotion of its flavored malt beverages, especially those that were marketed to college students and paired with ads featuring actors who appeared to be underage.

The company also agreed to pay $400,000 to the city attorney of San Francisco and the state attorneys general who were signatories to the settlement.

In addition to Massachusetts, the group also included state attorneys general from New York, Arizona, Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Washington.


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