Lawsuit Claims Four Loko Made FSU Student Shoot Himself

By: Amy Long Email
By: Amy Long Email

Tallahassee, Florida --

(Original story link below)

For years, people have looked to coffee to give them a jolt to get through the day - and alcohol to loosen up. but some say mixing a stimulant and a depressant may be a buzz kill.

A couple of years ago, the flavored malt beverage Four Loko burst onto store shelves giving consumers a jolt while getting drunk.

While some FSU students say they aren't loco for Loko's taste, they'll drink it for the effect anyway.

Wesley Ayala says, "I don't really like it. It's just easier to get drunk quicker. Half way to a quarter of the way though it you definitely notice." Matt Berka says, "My friend was like try it it's really potent it was good- I mean it's not good but it gets you drunk., It gets the job done."

But over the past year, the energy drink has been under a microscope by the Food and Drug Administration for the effects it has on the body.

The can does say it contains alcohol- but what it doesn't tell you is that it's an equivalent of 6 lights beers and two cups of coffee- some say a recipe for disaster and now- the FDA does too.

"That's why they call this liquid cocaine- crack in a can or black out in a can."

The brightly labeled fruity flavored beverage also appeals to younger drinkers like 20-year-old FSU student, Jason Keiran who shot and killed himself back on September 17th. Keiran's parents say he was under the influence of Four Loko and filed a lawsuit against its maker- Phusion Products.

The Keiran's attorney, Don Van Dingenen says, "The problem with Four Loko is it's got such a high concentrate of alcohol, but all of these caffeinated stimulated products so the individual doesn't go to sleep. Instead they're totally wired. That's when all of the dangerous things happen."

After sobering findings, the FDA announced Wednesday that the stimulated recipe for Four Loko is banned.

An attorney for the Keiran family says the ban is one step closer to getting justice. Now they want to see the company pulled from the shelves altogether.

While Phusion Projects agreed to take out the stimulants, it maintains the caffeine/alcohol combination is comparable to an Irish coffee or rum and coke combination.

For the original story, go to the link below:


The Food and Drug Administration is expected to announce a virtual ban of alcoholic energy drinks, even as a leading manufacturer is pulling its products off the market.

The FDA is expected to say Wednesday, Nov. 17 that caffeine is an unsafe food additive to alcoholic drinks, a move that would effectively
ban them from sale. College students have been hospitalized after
drinking the beverages, including the popular Four Loko, and four
states have banned the drinks.

Phusion Projects, which manufactures Four Loko, announced late
Tuesday, Nov. 16 that it would reformulate its drinks, removing caffeine.
While there is little known medical evidence that the drinks are
less safe than other alcoholic drinks, public health advocates say
they can make people feel more alert and able to handle risky tasks
like driving.

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  • by Mia on Nov 23, 2010 at 09:34 PM
    Realist. Some people are sensitive to things like caffeine and alcohol. You just cannot make a judgment without knowing the specifics of the person's history. If I have one coffee past 6 pm then I am up all night. The kid's heart could have been racing too fast, etc...At their young age few of them are aware of any potential medical problems they may have. Let your cynical attitude go. Wish the family peace and closure.
  • by Pat Location: Seattle on Nov 19, 2010 at 05:50 PM
    @realist:I thought and felt the same when I saw this on a local news report. Alcohol and caffeine didn't take their son's life, he did. This individual clearly had psychiatric issues and possibly other substance abuse problems which led to his suicide. The parents can't deal with the situation so they look for a scapegoat. One could easily drink a pot of coffee and/or multiple energy drinks in combination with strong alcoholic beverages. It all comes down to making rational choices as with anything in life.
  • by William Location: San Diego on Nov 19, 2010 at 09:54 AM
    Wow,I'm astound to the outrage of Four Loko when all this poison was introduced to the 'hood' and it was everything but a laughing matters then,the people protested but it didn't matter becaused making a buck is the underlying motives behind these cynical promotions and politicians have stocks and holidings in these companies and if they could get a piece of the action into supposely illegal drug like marijuana the markets would be flooded like alcohol,that why when a drunk kill someone the sentence is either probation or a few months to a few years behind bars,that their values on a human life,so pathetic.Everything will remain the same unless the law reflect the crime and punishment in an unbiased way but as long as greed is the motivating factors ours young people will continued to miss out on a long sustaing life,everyone must take responsibility for theirs action that would put them in harm way,deny the temptation and find another solutions that's benefical to their well-beings.
  • by realist Location: Tally on Nov 19, 2010 at 08:15 AM
    These parents are complete morons. Instead of blaming a drink for killing there son they need to look in the mirror and realize it was probably something they did or didn't do for their son that probably lead to his death. Blame the drink all you want if it makes you feel better, but I am sure someone who is willing to take there own life would have done it sooner or later regardless of this drink. What if he would have had a few beers and then blew his head off? Are you going sue the beer company? and while your suing random people with stupid lawsuits don't forget the gun company and ammo company and whomever sold him the gun. Why don't you try to blame everyone except yourselves. I am sure there must have been crys of help before this happened and no one paid attention.
  • by truthdotcom Location: pensacola nas on Nov 19, 2010 at 02:17 AM
    @john theyre not changing to prove anything, but they're changing because the drink intentionally targets young underage drinkers and is misrepresented..
  • by robbbb Location: tally on Nov 18, 2010 at 10:04 PM
    4 Lokos are alcohol, just like beer or liqur, he coulda drank anything an killed himself, they cannot blame the drink, there was more going on in the mans life than drinkin 4 lokos, i drink 4 lokos, an never feel like killing myself. this is obsurd
  • by John Location: Apache Junction, AZ on Nov 18, 2010 at 07:42 PM
    I'm 60 years old! I drink a minimum of 2 pots at 10 cups each of coffee every day. For 75% of my lifeI drank a 12 pak of beer each day and I never shot myself! Their must be some other under laying causes. I am glad 4 loko is changing their formula under pressure just to prove that are not to blame for mental illness!
  • by kenny Location: tallahassee on Nov 18, 2010 at 06:44 PM
    This is crazy. The kid made the decision to drink the beer. He didn'tcommit suicide because of fourloko. He did it beause of other things going on in his head. The four loko made it easier. I feel for his family but come on. So does this mean if you have gotten a dui and you were drinking four loko it the beers fault too..
  • by David Location: Tallahassee on Nov 18, 2010 at 01:21 PM
    I am sorry for the Parents loss but it was not the Drink that caused the Death........He was 20 Years old, an Adult but yet he was breaking the Law by Drinking. AND where did he get the Gun from? When they loose this Law Suite I bet they will go after the Gun Manufacturer. Again, I am sorry for the Parents loss but the only person here to blame is the 20 Year Old illegaly Drinking with a Gun. There are to many Lawyers in this Country.
  • by Daniel on Nov 18, 2010 at 12:46 PM
    It is ridiculous to think that a drink is responsible for the actions of its consumer. Even more so ridiculous that people are supporting the government telling us what we can and can not drink. It is called accountability, and it is the reason this country is in the condition it is in.
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