Red Bull GmbH, the Austrian company that sells the popular energy drinks, settled a false advertising lawsuit and has agreed to pay out $13 million to U.S. customers.
This means anyone who purchased a can with the two charging beasts in front of the golden sun between Jan. 1, 2002 and Oct. 5, 2014 can receive up to $10 cash or $15 worth of Red Bull products. No proof of purchase is necessary.
But that amount will drop as more people sign up – once the number of claims pass 1.3 million, each return will start shrinking. How many applications have been filed is unknown, but the BuzzFeed article has almost 5 million views as of Thursday, and it also reached the front page of Reddit.
In the class action case, Red Bull drinkers argued the company misled them about the benefits of the caffeinated beverage – specifically looking at slogans like “Red Bull gives you wings.”
As BevNET reported, the plaintiff representing the class, Benjamin Careathers, said he’s been drinking the source of energy since 2002 and hasn’t benefited from the claims of increased performance, concentration and reaction speed, according to the suit.
“Such deceptive conduct and practices mean that [Red Bull’s] advertising and marketing is not just ‘puffery,’ but is instead deceptive and fraudulent and is therefore actionable,” the documents stated.
Although Red Bull settled, the company released a statement denying any foul play:
“Red Bull settled the lawsuit to avoid the cost and distraction of litigation. However, Red Bull maintains that its marketing and labeling have always been truthful and accurate, and denies any and all wrongdoing or liability.”
There are four ways to retrieve the money:
- Online at https://iqa.gcginc.com/rdb/Default.aspx (filed online by no later than March 2, 2015)
- By email to the Class Action Settlement Administrator at email@example.com (by no later than March 2, 2015)
- By fax to the Class Action Settlement Administrator at 844-553-1373 (by no later than March 2, 2015)
- By mail to the Class Action Settlement Administrator at Energy Drink Settlement, c/o GCG, P.O. Box 35123, Seattle, WA 98124-5123 (postmarked no later than March 2, 2015)
Several news outlets reported the claims website went offline Wednesday.
According to the filing, if the settlement is approved at the hearing on May 1, 2015, the payments will be distributed 150 days later – pending appeals.