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John Leighton Discusses “Four Loko” Case with the Orlando Sentinel [Jan. 27, 2011] starstarstarstarstar


Miami/Orlando attorney John Elliott Leighton filed a Complaint for Damages and Demand for Jury Trial with the Circuit Court of the 18th Judicial Circuit in Seminole County, Florida on behalf of plaintiff Briana McCarroll.

The Orlando Sentinel recently discussed the case and the dangers of the Four Loko beverage with Mr. Leighton.

Read the full article here.

Article Highlights:

According to her attorney, McCarroll suffered numerous injuries. The most gruesome he described: As the vehicle slid along the roadway, McCarroll’s scalp was pulled back from her skull, leaving her permanently disfigured. She is suing Phusion for negligence and strict liability.

“She’s got loss of hair that will never grow back,” attorney John Elliott Leighton said. McCarroll also is suing Joseph and the convenience store where she said Joseph purchased Four Loko.

But why sue the beverage makers as well? Echoing complaints that have been central to the controversy, Leighton said the beverage is a dangerous mix of caffeine and alcohol, packaged for sale to young people.

Because of the caffeine, Leighton said, drinkers “don’t feel drunk, and they have this false sense of sobriety.”

Leighton said his client was getting ready to for her first year in college, planning to attend Florida State University, when the accident happened. Though Joseph, 20 at the time, had been drinking, Leighton said his client couldn’t tell she was intoxicated.

“She thought that the driver was fine,” Leighton said.

Accident Summary:

An August crash in Seminole County has spawned two lawsuits against Phusion Projects. The Florida Highway Patrol reported at the time that Danielle Joseph was driving about 95 mph when she lost control of her 2000 Acura Integra, striking a trailer being towed by a pickup on State Road 417. Two passengers in the vehicle have claimed Joseph had been drinking Four Loko the night of the crash. The crash cost 20-year-old Janice Rivera, the first to sue, her right hand. The FHP reported at the time that another passenger, Briana McCarroll, was transported to Orlando Regional Medical Center in serious condition.


Additional resource:

Four Loko – “blackout-in-a-can”