The father of an 18-year-old high school student who died suddenly last year has sued Amazon.com and caffeine powder distributors for failing to provide proper warnings about a dietary supplement’s dangers.
Logan Stiner was just days away from graduating from high school when he was discovered unresponsive in his family’s home in LaGrange, Ohio. A coroner subsequently ruled that Mr. Stiner had passed away as a result of cardiac arrhythmia and seizure due to acute caffeine toxicity. It was discovered that the level of caffeine in Mr. Stiner’s system was 23 times greater than would be found in a regular coffee or soda drinker.
The lawsuit names as defendants Amazon, which shipped the products in question, several Arizona-based companies, which packaged and sold the powder under the name “Hard Rhino”, and a classmate who provided the caffeine powder to Stiner. The lawsuit further states that the packaging containing Hard Rhino, a dietary supplement, failed to provide specific instructions on its proper use. According to the father’s attorney, because Hard Rhino is classified as a dietary supplement, the company is allowed to bypass U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations. Moreover, the attorney stated that despite a consumer warning from the FDA regarding the product and despite the fact that Hard Rhino stopped directly selling its caffeine powder on Amazon, the powdered caffeine was still available for purchase on the internet as recently as two weeks ago. The lawsuit in question seeks more than $25,000 in damages.