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PRIME Drink Lawsuit: Overview and 2024 Updates

You may have heard about a PRIME drink lawsuit, but the company is actually facing multiple legal challenges. We break them down here.

evident Editorial Team
April 24, 2024
energy drink poured from can

PRIME Hydration broke onto the scene in 2022 and gained instant popularity through the online audiences of founders Logan Paul and KSI. Since its launch, the company has sold over a billion bottles of its products and landed high-profile sponsors along the way.

But while the PRIME has added sponsors as impressive as Patrick Mahomes and Aaron Judge, it has also picked up its fair share of detractors along the way, including criticism from a US Senator and several class action lawsuits filed in recent years.

So, what are the lawsuits against PRIME about, and which beverages do they involve? We break down the various PRIME drink lawsuits in this article.

Key Takeaways

What is PRIME Drink?

PRIME Hydration LLC was founded by social media celebrities Logan Paul and Olajide Olayinka Williams Olatunj, also known as KSI. The two influencers had boxed twice but came together following their second bout to create PRIME.

Launched in 2022, the company generated more than $250 million in sales in its first year. The company initially focused on sports drinks, with its PRIME Hydration drinks available in nine flavors. PRIME Energy was launched in 2023 and is a line of drinks containing 200 milligrams of caffeine.

The company's popularity has been credited to the online audiences of Paul and KSI, who have almost 40 million YouTube subscribers between them. The company has secured partnerships with the UFC, Arsenal Football Club, and other professional sports organizations.

PRIME sold its billionth beverage and crossed $1.2 billion in sales around November 2023.

However, while the company has checked off milestones in its revenue numbers, it has also drawn criticism and racked up multiple lawsuits along the way.

PRIME Drink Lawsuit

The first PRIME drink class action lawsuit alleges that independent testing revealed PFAS (so-called "forever chemicals") in one of its flavors, specifically its grape PRIME Hydration beverage. It was filed in federal court in California on August 2, 2023.

Numerous studies have shown PFAS to have negative effects on the human body and the environment. The Environmental Protection Agency fact sheet on PFAS explains, "PFAS are manufactured chemicals that have been used in industry and consumer products since the 1940s." The EPA notes that "the more we learn about PFAS chemicals, the more we learn that certain PFAS can cause health risks even at very low levels.”  

Meanwhile, the proposed class action lawsuit notes that PRIME Hydration is marketed as a healthy sports drink, and its labeling highlights its natural ingredients. According to a press release published by Milberg, the law firm that filed the lawsuit, the class action complaint alleges that PRIME misrepresented its products and that plaintiffs would not have purchased PRIME drinks if they had known about the presence of PFAS in the drinks.

Other lawsuits, including one against Simply Orange, have been filed in recent years claiming independent testing revealed the presence of PFAS.

PRIME Energy Drink Lawsuit

courtroom, benches, seats

In addition to the proposed class action lawsuit regarding PFAS in their grape sports drink, there is a separate lawsuit against PRIME Energy.

The PRIME Energy drink lawsuit was filed on September 12, 2023, in federal court in Kentucky. The lead plaintiff is identified as T.K. and brings the lawsuit as the parent and legal guardian of a ten-year-old child who consumed PRIME Energy drinks.

The lawsuit alleges that consumers, including the plaintiff, were led to believe that PRIME Energy was a healthy drink "similar to an electrolyte beverage without caffeine content." However, T.K. researched the drink after observing her child having mood swings and trouble sleeping. The complaint states that T.K. learned "PRIME Energy drinks were harmful to her minor child" and claims she never would have purchased PRIME Energy if she had known about the effects it would have on her minor child.

The proposed class action lawsuit states that PRIME Energy contains 200 milligrams of caffeine, which the complaint notes is almost twice as much caffeine as rival energy drinks such as Monster and Red Bull.

A core allegation of the PRIME Energy drink lawsuit is that PRIME's marketing targets minors and children for whom the drinks are unsafe. The complaint alleges that T.K.'s child "begged and pleaded" for her to purchase PRIME Energy drinks "after viewing TikTok and YouTube advertisements and social media campaigns."

Indeed, the demographics of Logan Paul's and KSI's audiences is a point of contention between the two sides, with each claiming there's data to support their stance. The lawsuit points out that "the majority of Logan Paul and KSI’s followers are 24 years or younger." The complaint also noted that PRIME Energy partnered with the popular video game Fortnite and that "the average age of Fortnite players is under 20 years old."

Meanwhile, Logan Paul points to other data and has stated that "90% of [his] audience is above the age of 18. 93% of Prime's audience is above the age of 18, according to Instagram's analytics."

PRIME Energy Criticism Before the Lawsuit

It's worth noting that PRIME Energy was already drawing criticism before the lawsuit was filed. New York Senator Chuck Schumer called for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to investigate PRIME because of the high caffeine content of its drinks. Senator Schumer noted that the caffeine content combined with marketing likely to appeal to minors, if not outright targeting them, was problematic.

Indeed, PRIME Energy drinks have been recalled in Canada, where they exceed national regulations regarding caffeine content, and numerous schools and businesses in a variety of countries have banned PRIME Energy drinks.

The criticism and the bans are a response to the data showing that caffeine can be harmful to children. The CDC notes that potential adverse effects from minors drinking energy drinks can include dehydration, anxiety, insomnia, and even heart complications.

Senator Schumer thus describes PRIME Energy as "a serious health concern for the kids it so feverishly targets."

PRIME Energy Lawsuit #2

A second PRIME Energy lawsuit filed in federal district court in New York on April 8, 2024, addresses a different issue related to the beverage's caffeine content.

The complaint alleges that PRIME Energy drinks contain even more caffeine than the 200 milligrams stated on the labeling and that testing revealed the drinks contain between 215-225 milligrams of caffeine. The lawsuit alleges that this alleged discrepancy constitutes "false, deceptive, and misleading" labeling and marketing by PRIME.

As with the other PRIME lawsuits, the New York lawsuit is a proposed consumer class action.

The Bottom Line

So, how will the PRIME drink lawsuits unfold? Class action lawsuits can take years to play out, with various legal battles along the way, so it is unclear what lies ahead for these lawsuits. Indeed, many proposed class action lawsuits get dismissed or resolved through a settlement between the parties, which can happen at any time throughout the proceedings.

And with so much scrutiny, there's a good chance that more lawsuits against PRIME will still be filed. Thus, interested consumers will have to stay tuned for the latest updates with the PRIME drinks lawsuits, as only time will tell how they will unfold.