A new lawsuit alleges that Panera's "Charged Lemonade" contains dangerous levels of caffeine and allegedly led to the death of a 21-year-old University of Pennsylvania student.
According to an NBC News article, the lawsuit claims the Charged Lemonade contains more caffeine than cans of Red Bull and Monster combined and failed to properly warn consumers about the risks.
The article explains that Sarah Katz had a heart condition called Long QT syndrome, which her doctors advised her to avoid energy drinks. Katz went into cardiac arrest and died hours after purchasing a Charged Lemonade from a Philadelphia Panera location in September 2022. The lawsuit argues the drink's caffeine content reached 390mg in a large size, higher than in Panera's coffee.
In addition to excessive caffeine, the Charged Lemonade allegedly contains guarana extract and nearly 30 teaspoons of sugar, according to the suit. The article points out that Panera advertises the drink as "plant-based" and "clean" without indicating it is essentially an energy drink. The family argues it lacked proper warnings about the potential health dangers.
From Panera Bread's website:
The NEW Panera Charged Lemonades are the ultimate energy drink guaranteed to charge up your day. Powered by Clean caffeine from guarana and green coffee extract, these caffeinated lemonades feature refreshing mango, cranberry, or strawberry mint flavors. These drinks are cold, caffeinated, and so ready for summer. Plant-based and Clean with as much caffeine as our Dark Roast coffee.