Living Essentials, the makers of 5-Hour Energy drinks, has said it refuses to be “bullied” after three US states filed lawsuits against it for allegedly deceptive ads.

In legal documents filed last week, Washington, Oregon and Vermont accused Living Essentials of “misleading” consumers with claims in TV commercials and on packaging that 5-Hour Energy is safe for teenagers and causes “no sugar crash”. Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson said more states will sue in the following weeks.

However, Living Essentials said in a statement sent to just-drinks that the attorneys general are “grasping at straws” and that the company will defend itself against “civil intimidation”.

“When companies are being bullied by someone in a position of power, these companies roll over, pay the ransom, and move on. We’re not doing that,” the Michigan-based manufacturer said.

According to Reuters, the lawsuits are the result of an investigation launched in 2012 by 33 states, in which Oregon, Tennessee, Maryland and Vermont have taken the lead.

In November 2012, Living Essentials was forced to defend 5-Hour Energy after a US Government health agency said it was investigating its possible link to 13 deaths in the previous three years.