Panera Lemonade’s High Caffeine Blamed for Student’s Death in Lawsuit

( – Many people turn to energy drinks to give them a boost to get through the day. They’re readily available and convenient. However, for some people, they’re also deadly. A college student’s parents are now suing Panera for her death after she consumed a highly caffeinated drink offered by the eatery.

On September 10, 2022, 21-year-old college student Sarah Katz visited her local Panera, where she enjoyed a Charged Lemonade drink, which she believed was safe to consume. Katz suffered from a heart condition known as Long QT Type One Syndrome, which meant she had to be careful to avoid drinks that contained a lot of caffeine. Sadly, the college student suffered cardiac arrest after drinking the Charged Lemonade beverage and passed away.

Katz’s parents are suing the popular restaurant for its perceived role in their daughter’s death. The lawsuit claims that Panera falsely advertises the Charged Lemonade drink as comparable to its dark roast coffee. They allege the company “does not declare the total quantity of caffeine from all sources on the container itself,” and there are no signs displayed in the establishments. The caffeine contents are only listed on its website. In fact, the beverages in the eatery are placed right next to the soft drinks and juices.

According to the lawsuit, a 30-ounce serving of the beverage in question can contain up to 390 milligrams of caffeine, which is more than Monster and Red Bull energy drinks combined. Yet, the company doesn’t provide consumers “a factual basis for understanding it is an energy drink containing exorbitant amounts of … stimulants and sugar.” The lawsuit says this is something that puts a lot of people at risk, including those with heart conditions, like Katz.

A spokesperson for Panera released a statement saying the company extended its condolences to Katz’s family and it was looking into the incident further.

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