Panera Bread’s Charged Lemonade Blamed in Another Wrongful Death Lawsuit
A Florida man, 46, passed away after consuming three cups of Panera Bread’s highly caffeinated Charged Lemonade, according to a lawsuit filed against the bakery-café chain on Monday.
Dennis Brown suffered a fatal “cardiac event” while walking home from a Panera in Fleming Island, Florida on Oct. 9, as claimed by his family in the complaint obtained by The Philadelphia Inquirer.
The complaint, on behalf of Brown’s mother, sister, and brother, labels Charged Lemonade as “dangerous” and comes shortly after Panera was sued over the death of 21-year-old student Sarah Katz. Both families are represented by the same law firm, Kline & Specter.
Elizabeth Crawford, an attorney at Kline & Specter, stated that “Dennis was also killed by Panera’s toxic super energy drink, ‘charged lemonade.’ Dennis was a loyal Panera customer and reasonably trusted their food and drinks were safe.”
The regular-sized Charged Lemonade contains 260 milligrams of caffeine, while a large has 390, according to Panera’s website. The Food and Drug Administration advises adults to consume no more than 400 milligrams of caffeine per day.
Panera expressed sympathy for Mr. Brown’s family and stated that based on their investigation, they believe his passing was not caused by their product. They view this lawsuit as equally without merit.
The complaint reveals that Brown had an unspecified chromosomal deficiency disorder, a developmental delay, and a mild intellectual disability. He did not consume energy drinks due to his high blood pressure but ordered the Charged Lemonade reasonably confident it was safe for him to drink.
The complaint also alleges that the Charged Lemonade has been marketed as “Plant-based and Clean with as much caffeine as our Dark Roast coffee.” The beverage was available in self-serve dispensers alongside non-caffeinated offerings on the day of Brown’s death, without any warning signage.
Crawford stated that as a man with special needs living independently, Brown was part of a vulnerable population that should be protected, and Panera failed to protect him.