Lawsuit Filed Over Alleged Charged Lemonade Death

Lawsuit Filed Over Alleged Charged Lemonade Death

( – Panera Bread introduced its “Charged Lemonades,” billing them as the “ultimate energy drink… powered by Clean caffeine.” Offered in three flavors, the company’s press release advised that the large (30 fl. oz.) servings contain between 387 and 389 milligrams of caffeine, a level precariously close to the FDA’s maximum recommended daily dosage for healthy adults of 400 milligrams. Sadly, two individuals died shortly after consuming the lemonade, and the company faces another lawsuit related to the latest fatality.

On December 4, Dennis Brown’s mother, brother, and sister filed a civil complaint and jury demand in the Superior Court for the State of Delaware. The 29-page document alleges that Brown, 56, died as the direct result of consuming several servings of Panera’s Charged Lemonade.

According to the complaint, Brown purchased a Mango Yuzu Citrus Charged Lemonade at a Fleming Island, Florida, franchise at about 3:29 p.m. on October 9. The store’s lemonade display was located next to other non-caffeinated/less caffeinated beverages and “was not advertised as an ‘energy drink.'” Likewise, it didn’t bear any warning to consumers.

Brown reportedly consumed his Charged Lemonade, “confident” it contained a “reasonable amount of caffeine,” and refilled it two times before leaving at about 5:16 p.m. local time. The civil complaint stated that he suffered a cardiac event while walking home. A passerby found Brown lying on the sidewalk unresponsive, and medical responders pronounced his death at the scene.

Alarmingly, Brown suffered from several medical conditions, including ADHD and high pressure, and wasn’t known to consume energy drinks.

The plaintiffs claimed that Panera Bread’s officials “knew or should have known” that its Charged Lemonades, “as designed and formulated,” could injure individuals sensitive to the effect of caffeine, resulting in “catastrophic” harm or “death.”

Brown’s family members are asking the court for an unspecified amount of special, general, and punitive damages for causing Brown to “suffer cardiac arrest… conscious pain and suffering,” along with other injuries until his “untimely death.”

In late October, family members of a 21-year-old college student named Sarah Katz filed a similar lawsuit against Panera. Like Brown, she suffered from a pre-existing medical condition and died shortly after consuming one of the company’s lemonades in September 2022.

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