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Tuesday
Nov162010

Four Loko Lawsuit: Parents Claim Energy Drink Killed Son

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(TALLAHASSEE, Fla.) -- A Florida family is suing the makers of a popular energy drink in connection with their son's death.

Joe and Vicki Keiran say their 20-year-old son, Jason, became intoxicated and wired after drinking at least three cans of the energy drink Four Loko -- the alcohol equivalent of 18 light beers and six cups of coffee.  Each fruit punch-flavored 23.5-ounce can has about 2.82 ounces of alcohol and about 156 milligrams of caffeine.

The Keirans believe the drink caused Jason to become so manic and erratic that he accidentally shot himself.  The family's attorney, Don Van Dingenen, says the Florida State sophomore picked up a friend's gun after partying with his roommates for 30 hours straight on Sept. 17.

"They say he started to act crazy.  He pointed the gun at his head and everyone else.  He said I realize I'm freaking you guys out, take the gun away from me," Van Dingenen said.

The maker of Four Loko had no comment on the Kieran's lawsuit, saying they haven't reviewed it.  But the company sent a letter to government regulators that said they "don't agree with the notion that mixing caffeine and alcohol is inherently unsafe."  The manufacturers also pointed out there are 40 other similar beverages on the market.

The medical examiner's office has not ruled on whether Jason Kiernan's death was an accidental shooting or suicide.

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