A 46-year-old Florida man drank three cups of Panera Bread's "Charged Lemonade" in October and then died, says a new lawsuit filed yesterday. In fact, Dennis Brown had allegedly just left Panera after consuming the highly caffeinated lemonade and was still walking home when he "suffered a 'cardiac event,'" according to The New York Times.
This is the second such accusation against the restaurant chain, following a similar lawsuit filed by the family of a 21-year-old University of Pennsylvania student who died after she drank Panera's lemonade last year.
The suit alleges that Brown, who reportedly had high blood pressure and a developmental delay, had purposely ordered the lemonade thinking it was caffeine free. "Dennis is part of a vulnerable population that should be protected," an attorney who represents Brown's case, Elizabeth Crawford, told Forbes. "And Panera failed to protect Dennis."
But Panera stands firm in its belief that its super-charged drink is not to blame. "Panera expresses our deep sympathy for Mr. Brown's family," the company said in a statement. "Based on our investigation we believe his unfortunate passing was not caused by one of the company's products. We view this lawsuit, which was filed by the same law firm as a previous claim, to be equally without merit."
From The New York Times:
Dennis Brown, 46, died in October after suffering a "cardiac event" while walking home from a Panera Bread in Fleming Island, Fla., according to the wrongful-death lawsuit, which was filed by Mr. Brown's mother, sister and brother in Superior Court in Delaware.
It is the second lawsuit filed against Panera Bread over its Charged Lemonade, which has more caffeine in its large size than a 12-ounce Red Bull and a 16-ounce Monster Energy Drink combined.
The lawsuit said the company "knew or should have known" that the drink could injure children, pregnant and breastfeeding women, and people sensitive to caffeine. …
A regular Charged Lemonade has 260 milligrams of caffeine and the large size has 390 milligrams, according to Panera's website.
According to the Food and Drug Administration, most "healthy adults" can safely consume up to 400 milligrams of caffeine per day, or about four or five cups of regular coffee, depending on the brand and roast.