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        I Believe Sodas Ruined My Life

        150 150 Clifford Horwitz

        Question:

        For 34 of my 40 years of life, I believe that I have been addicted to drinking cola beverages. I have tried more times than I could remember to quit, but I would develop severe withdrawal symptoms that kept me reaching for more colas.

        I believe that years of drinking excessive colas have lead to the deterioration of my teeth (multiple root canals, cavities, beginnings of gum disease, as well as digestive difficulties that keep me on Imodium daily (irritable bowel syndrome).

        I am old enough and educated enough (I am both a practicing chiropractor, as well as a recent med. school graduate waiting to take the board exams) to realize that caffeine is addictive, but when I was 5-20 years old, this was not common knowledge, and I developed my addiction.

        I believe that the soda industry places caffeine in their beverages to addict consumers, which creates increased sales for their products. Unfortunately for consumers like myself, we were not informed of this at a time when we are most impressionable… in our youth and teenage years.

        I hope that I don’t sound like a conspiracy theorist, but I strongly believe that my addiction to cola has had significant, negative affects on my health. I am interested in suing the major soft drink manufacturers, because I crave colas constantly), and would like your input on this matter. Please contact me at your earliest convenience.

        –Michael, D.C., M.D., South Carolina

        Answer:

        Can one successfully sue cola companies for placing caffeine in its product due to the fact that the product contains caffeine? Your attorney would need to prove:

        • The product is dangerous because of the caffeine;
        • Caffeine is addictive;
        • Injury;
        • Injury caused by the caffeine;

        Your attorney would need to prove that your addiction to caffeine resulted from the cola and not from other caffeine-containing substances. In addition, companies will put up a vigorous multi-million dollar battle in order the defend its product.

        We have seen that corporations will intentionally place addicting substances into their product without informing anybody. This is what the cigarette manufacturers have done. What better way is there to sell a corporate product. They don’t care if they kill people. Millions have died as a result, including my father-in-law, a great man who I watched wither away while undergoing chemotherapy.

        Lawyers will more likely sue the cigarette manufacturers because the injury due to cigarette smoking is death. The injury due to drinking Coke will be much more the subject of dispute. I can tell you that it would be difficult to find a lawyer to take on this case because of the high risk and high expense of proving each of the five elements stated above.

        I agree that companies should warn and that caffeine may be addictive. However, the risk of this case could bankrupt most firms (if they lose) due to the high cost. You live in S.C. I doubt there is any firm that would be willing to prosecute it. You might check local class action firms. Good luck.

        Clifford Horwitz
        AUTHOR

        Clifford Horwitz

        As Principal Partner and lead trial lawyer of Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates, Cliff has devoted his entire career to achieving justice for those who have been victimized by corporate negligence. He has won numerous record-setting jury verdicts and settlements, as well as what was the largest personal injury verdict in Illinois for an individual.

        All stories by: Clifford Horwitz