PFAS in Prime Hydration Grape Sports Drink Draws Milberg Lawsuit

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August 7, 2023

by Brian Eckert

Prime Hydration grape sports drink contains antioxidants, electrolytes, vitamins and…forever chemicals?

One of the best-selling sports drinks on the market, Prime Hydration has drawn marketing buzz and generated huge sales due to the popularity of its celebrity founders. But the discovery that it contains per-and polyfluoroalkyl  substances (“PFAS”), synthetic chemicals known to have negative health impacts, is bringing a different type of attention to the product.

If you bought a Prime Hydration drink, you may be eligible to join this class action lawsuit and receive financial compensation.

Prime Goes Viral

Prime founders Logan Paul and Olajide William Olatunji (aka KSI) are YouTubers turned influencer boxers. They met in the ring on two occasions but since their last bout have created Prime to “showcase what happens when rivals come together as brothers and business partners to fill the void where great taste meets function.”

With bold, thirst-quenching flavors to help you refresh, replenish, and refuel, PRIME is the perfect boost for any endeavor.

Launched in 2022, Prime Hydration generated more than $250 million in retail sales in its first year, including $45 million in a single month. The drink’s popularity is credited to the huge audiences of Paul and KSI, who between them have nearly 40 million YouTube subscribers. Its rapid success has led to strategic partnerships with Arsenal Football Club, the Ultimate Fighting Championship, and other professional sports organizations.

Prime Hydration is available in nine different flavors, including grape—the product at issue in Milberg’s lawsuit. Prime also sells energy drinks and Hydration+ Sticks, a powdered version of Prime Hydration.

Testing Reveals PFAS “Forever Chemicals” in Prime Hydration Grape

Made with ingredients like coconut water, branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), B-vitamins, electrolytes, and antioxidants, Prime Hydration labeling describes it as a healthy sports drink that is the “perfect boost for every endeavor” and designed to “refresh, replenish, and refuel.”

Prime purposefully highlights these ingredients, which are known to contribute to health and sports performance, in order to convince consumers that the Product is in fact a healthy drink that is good for the body.

These product descriptions give the impression that Prime Hydration replenishes depleted nutrients, improves health and athletic performance, and restores the body to an optimized state. Nothing about them would lead a reasonable consumer to believe the drink introduces harmful chemicals into the body.

Independent third-party testing, however, determined the presence of PFAS chemicals in Prime Hydration grape flavor, including significant levels of:

  • Perfluoro-1-butanesulfonic acid (PFBS)
  • Perfluoro-n-decanoic acids (PFDA)
  • Perfluoro-n-dodecanoic acid (PFDoA)
  • Perfluoro-n-heptanoic acid (PFHpA)
  • Perfluoro-noctanoic acid (PFOA)
  • Perfluoro-n-tetradecanoic acid (PFTeDA)
  • Perfluoro-n-undecanoic acid (PFUdA)
  • Perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS)

PFAS are known as “forever chemicals” because they bioaccumulate, or accrue in the body over time. These man-made chemicals are well-studied and have been found to have adverse effects on the human body and environment. The EPA notes scientific studies showing PFAS exposure can lead to:

  • Reproductive harm
  • Developmental delays in children
  • Increased cancer risk
  • Reduced immune system response
  • Interference with the body’s hormones
  • Higher cholesterol levels and obesity risk

PFAS are found in a wide range of products and can be introduced to the body in a number of ways, such as drinking water, foods, contaminated air, dust, and soil, and product packaging. There is currently no treatment to remove PFAS from the body. Avoiding products known to contain PFAS is therefore one of the most obvious ways to prevent exposure.

Lead Plaintiff, Allegations, and Proposed Classes

Milberg’s putative class action lays out several claims in the complaint.

It alleges that Prime Hydration engaged in unlawful conduct through product misrepresentations that misled consumers and caused them economic harm. The presence of PFAS in Prime Hydration renders it “adulterated, misbranded, and illegal to sell,” the lawsuit also alleges. In addition, the manufacturer’s deceptive conduct “harms the public-at-large” and creates the potential for future harm due to the PFAS chemicals in its drinks.

Lead plaintiff Elizabeth Castillo, a resident of California, purchased Prime Hydration on multiple occasions but says she would not have bought it at all if the product had been accurately marketed and labeled as containing PFAS. These chemicals were not reasonably detectible to consumers like herself, Castillo further states.

Castillo’s suit seeks damages, injunctive relief, and other remedies for herself and the following consumer classes:

  • All persons who purchased Prime Hydration Grape Sports Drink within the United States for personal use and not for resale (the Nationwide Class).
  • All persons who purchased Prime Hydration Grape Sports Drink within the State of California for personal use and not for resale (the California Class).

These class definitions could be amended if further investigation finds PFAS in other Prime Hydration products, according to the complaint.

The Prime Hydration class action raises claims similar to those in previously-filed Milberg PFAS lawsuits against Bolthouse Farms and Nantucket Nectars.

Since 1965, Milberg has filed thousands of class action lawsuits that have recovered billions of dollars for our clients, protected consumers’ health and safety, and advanced the public interest.