SEATTLE (Legal Newsline) — Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson has announced a King County Superior Court ruling against the makers of 5-hour ENERGY in which the court sided with the state.
The case involved allegations that the defendants violated the state’s Consumer Protection Act by making claims in advertisements that were not backed by concrete scientific evidence. Ferguson charged that the company’s “Ask Your Doctor” campaign inappropriately combined two separate surveys.
One survey was done online and one on paper, and they were allegedly done using different methodologies. Ferguson claimed that the surveys did not actually support the ad’s conclusion that 73 percent of doctors support 5-hour ENERGY.
“The makers of 5-hour ENERGY® misled consumers in pursuit of profit,” Ferguson said. “They broke the law, and they will be held accountable for their deception.”
Judge Beth Andrus agreed with Ferguson after a three-week trial, stating that the advertisements were indeed misleading.
“None of the studies Living Essentials submitted to the court support the claim that combining specific B vitamins, taurine, choline, glucuronolactone and tyrosine with caffeine will cause the energy, alertness and focus effects of caffeine to last longer than if the caffeine were consumed alone,” Andrus said in her statement.
Andrus will determine penalties at a later date. The state’s case was handled by Lisa Erwin and Trisha McArdle, both senior counsel with the attorney general’s office, and assistant attorneys general Daniel Davies and Kimberlee Gunning.