Parents claim alcopop drink led to son's death

Jodi - posted on 05/21/2011 ( 12 moms have responded )




The parents of a teenager who ran into traffic and was killed after drinking two alcoholic energy drinks are suing the beverage’s maker, claiming it made him paranoid.

US teen Bo Rupp, 15, was fatally hit by an SUV after he drank two cans of Four Loko on September 25, a lawsuit filed in Virginia this week alleges.

Karla and John Rupp blame the drink, nicknamed “blackout in a can” by drinkers, for their son’s death and are suing its maker, Phusion Projects, NY Daily News reports.

“I want kids to know that [Four Loco] is very dangerous,” Mrs Rupp said.

The Rupps alleges their son — from Centreville next to Washington — bought the drinks at a petrol station with his friends before going to a concert, where they were kicked out for acting drunk.

Rupp’s mother was driving him home when he became paranoid and disoriented and suddenly jumped out of the car, the lawsuit claims.

The teenager allegedly ran into traffic while fleeing from his mother.

Police said he was struck by an SUV while sitting on Pleasant Valley Road in Centreville. He died one day later.

Phusion Projects, of Chicago, issued a statement this week saying it was saddened by the 15-year-old’s death.

The company noted the drink was intended for people over the age of 21, the legal drinking age in the US.

It has since removed caffeine from the drink’s recipe.

The lawsuit claims caffeine masked the effects of the alcohol in Four Loko, which contains the equivalent of five to six cans of beer.

Four Loko has since been banned in many states in the US in its original form, including New York.

Officials for Phusion Projects said they planned for vigorously defend the lawsuit.

So, who is to blame here? Who SHOULD be sued? Should they even be suing? And what are your thoughts on these drinks?


View replies by

Kate CP - posted on 05/21/2011




I think energy drinks and alcohol ARE very dangerous but what the hell?! WHY did these kids get this stuff? They should be prosecuting the person who sold it to them and slapping the parents upside the head for allowing them to drink it.

[deleted account]

One thing I just thought of as far as him getting a hold of that beverage is that some one he knows that isn't much older than him sold him the beverage. You have to be 18 here to sell and serve alcohol. Or he didn't know the guy/gal working at the store and they just didn't give a flying fuck. If that is the case they should be sued for negligence. I think the parents are putting blame on the makers because that is what their attorney is telling them to say.Their attorney must have bigger plans and wants to get as much money as possible and figures that going after the makers of those drinks will get them the money. Greed on the attorney's part and maybe the parents for that matter.

Jodi - posted on 05/21/2011




But Amanda, that then means that BOTTLES of vodka, bourbon, gin, any spirit you can name would have to be banned.... how do you legislate something like that.

Just for the record, I DO think these drinks shoudl be banned, but I also question how the fuck a 15 year old got hold of it and how the parents concluded it was the manufacturers fault. If we want to place blame because they should not be available in the first place, should we be suing the government legislators?

Amanda - posted on 05/21/2011




Personally I think any drink that is 5-6 cans of beer in one can should be ban for everyones safety inculding adults!

Medic - posted on 05/21/2011




I drank 2 four loko's before I realized I was VERY drunk. I am a big girl and it knocked me on my butt.

[deleted account]

I agree Jenn. Need to know the results of the autopsy report but also think it could have just been the alcohol. The beverage has the equivalent of 5-6 beers. That times however many he drank is a lot for a 15 yo to consume especially if he has never drank before and if he has a small frame. And besides the amount how fast was he able to down those beverages? I have never had one but if they are sweet fruity drinks you can probably comsume quite a bit before you realize 'Oh shit I'm in real trouble'. The effects of alcohol are different for everyone.

LauraBeth - posted on 05/21/2011




The question that is really bugging me here is how did he get the drinks? it states that is parents were driving him home so they had to know, right. I find the parents to blame to a point, they should have known what a 15 year old was doing, I also agree that it had to more then just this drink, I dont believe the company is at fault here, or the store because it doesnt state that this 15 year old bought it, for some reason I feel like this kids parents had alot to do with it, my heart still feels for them and the lost of their child, but there is def. something left out of this story.

Jodi - posted on 05/21/2011




Heather, it is much the same here - our drinking age is 18, and most places will check ID if you don't look 25. For some reason they never check my ID......I am shattered :P

Jenn - posted on 05/21/2011




I'm with Heather - sue the store that sold it to a minor, and if they had a "friend" buy it for them who was at least 21, then sue the "friend" for providing a minor with alcohol. The beverage makers hold no responsibility. As far as paranoia goes - that sounds like drugs to me. I wonder if they did an autopsy to look for such things?

[deleted account]

The people that should be sued is not the makers of the beverage but the store that sold to a minor. They definately have a case if they sue the store. Ummm I am sorry but the drinking age is 21 here in the US and I think it would be pretty far fetched to think a 15 year old looks 21. With that said I used to work as a waitress here in RI and RI law was if the person did not look 30 we had to card them.If the person had no ID no alcohol. Not sure what the laws are in Virginia but I would think it being a southern state its laws would be more strict and probable have a similar if not more strict law in place. So suppose that kid had a fake ID then the cashier should have been a step ahead of them and asked for a second form of ID like credit card or something. A 15 yo is not going to have that and then the kids plan to get alcohol would have been foiled.

Stifler's - posted on 05/21/2011




Isn't that pretty much the same as red bull and vodka? Or is this something XTREME. Coz I'm not really buying that 2 drinks made this guy "paranoid" unless he was on some other drugs.

Sneaky - posted on 05/21/2011




Umm, mostly I'm thinking natural selection . . . . .seriously, you are going to sue someone because your son was an idiot and drank something he shouldn't have? I understand that his parents are angry, hurt and grieving but I seriously blame their parenting before I would blame the manufacturers of a drink.

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