Panera Faces Second Wrongful Death Lawsuit From Caffeinated Drink

A man in Florida died from a “cardiac event” after drinking three Charged Lemonades.

December 06, 2023

Panera Bread is facing a second lawsuit linking its Charged Lemonade beverage to a death, reported the New York Times.

46-year-old Florida resident Dennis Brown suffered a “cardiac event” while walking home after drinking three servings of the caffeinated beverage, the wrongful-death lawsuit filed by his family stated.

“Panera expresses our deep sympathy for Mr. Brown’s family,” Panera 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.”

According to the Times, the lawsuit said that Brown had high blood pressure, a developmental delay, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and a chromosomal disorder that caused a mild intellectual disability and blurry vision.

The lawsuit alleges that the Charged Lemonade was offered alongside other drinks with less or no caffeine and did not advertise the lemonade as an energy drink or provide any warnings.

Mr. Brown died from “cardiac arrest due to hypertensive disease,” according to a death certificate.

The first wrongful death lawsuit was filed in October after a college student with a heart condition, Sarah Katz, 21, died after drinking the beverage.

According to Panera’s website, a regular Charged Lemonade contains 260 milligrams of caffeine while the large size has 390 milligrams.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration notes that 400 milligrams of caffeine can be safely consumed by most healthy adults—equivalent to four or five cups of coffee. However, the FDA also states that “there is wide variation in both how sensitive people are to the effects of caffeine and how fast they metabolize it.”