Red Bull Settles $13M Lawsuit for False Advertisement; Customers to Get Cash Reimbursement

Money Smart

A selection of Red Bull drinks is shown in a photo from the company.

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Red Bull has agreed to pay more than $13 million to settle a class action lawsuit that claims the energy drink company falsely advertises its products.

The company “settled the lawsuit to avoid the cost of distraction of litigation,” Red Bull said in a statement to PIX11 News. The proposed settlement could potentially include a payout for millions of individuals who purchased at least one Red Bull can in the past 10 years.

Those people who choose to go forward with the lawsuit have the option of receiving a $10 cash reimbursement or two free Red Bull products with an approximate retail value of $15. Red Bull also agrees to cover shipping costs for the reimbursements, Law360 reported.

The lawsuit filed on Jan. 16, 2013, in the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of New York argues that Red Bull’s advertisements mislead consumers with promises of increased physical and mental performance. The company also markets its drinks as providing more of a boost than coffee does.

The company’s “deceiving” slogan can also be found on several marketing materials including television commercials, athlete endorsements, social media, events and more.

Benjamin Careathers, the main plaintiff in the lawsuit, sought an injunction for the company to stop falsely advertising its products. The Bronx resident, who has been drinking Red Bull since 2002, also wanted restitution of funds that were acquired in unlawful ways.

Despite the settlement, a representative from Red Bull said the company “maintains that its marketing and labeling have always been truthful and accurate, and denies any and all wrongdoing or liability.”

The plaintiffs were represented by Morelli Alters Ratner Law Firm. Qualified individuals who wish to go forward with the lawsuit must submit a Claim Form, which can be found on the Energy Drink Settlement website.

This story was originally published by KTLA sister station WPIX in New York City.

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