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BLAWg In Bloom

The Indiana Law Library Blog

Alcohol, Caffeine, and Tobacco

The FDA has some strong words for the makers of a beverage called Four Loko.  Four Loko is a sweetly flavored malt liquor drink which is also highly caffeinated.  The beverage has been linked to several deaths, most recently a Florida man who shot himself in the head.  The family is suing for wrongful death.

This is very reminiscent of things like tobacco litigation.  Recently there is another tobacco case in the news concerning an alleged past practice of freely distributing cigarettes to children in Boston.  Dangerous products pose difficult questions.  Shady marketing practices and already addictive substances can be laid at the feet of large companies—but on the other hand, where does the free will of the consumer fit into the picture? 

What do you think?  Should the family in Florida prevail over Four Loko?  The family in Boston over the Lorillard Tobacco Company?  Let us know how you feel!

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