Woman Files Lawsuit Claiming Permanent Cardiac Injuries after Drinking Panera’s Caffeinated Lemonade, Joins Previous Lawsuits against the Chain

NOVATO, California – Panera Bread is facing a new lawsuit after a woman claimed to have suffered “permanent cardiac injuries” from drinking its highly caffeinated Charged Lemonade. This comes after the families of two people filed lawsuits last year, alleging that their relatives died shortly after drinking the beverage. The latest lawsuit was filed by Lauren Skerritt, a 28-year-old occupational therapist and competitive athlete from Rhode Island. Skerritt says she consumed two-and-a-half cups of the lemonade in April 2023 and experienced palpitations that led her to seek emergency medical attention. She was subsequently diagnosed with atrial fibrillation, an irregular and rapid heart rhythm. Since then, Skerritt has been dealing with recurrent episodes of rapid heartbeat, affecting her daily life and requiring medication.

The lawsuits claim that Panera failed to adequately disclose the drink’s caffeine content, leading consumers to mistakenly believe it was a harmless beverage. Panera made labeling changes and reduced the caffeine content of the Charged Lemonade after the first lawsuit was filed in October. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends a maximum daily caffeine intake of 400 milligrams for a healthy adult. A large 30-fluid-ounce Charged Lemonade currently contains 234 milligrams of caffeine for the mango yuzu citrus flavor and 236 milligrams for the strawberry lemon mint flavor. The drinks also have high sugar content.

This latest lawsuit highlights the potential health risks associated with consuming highly caffeinated beverages, particularly when their caffeine content is not adequately communicated to consumers. It raises questions about the responsibility of companies to provide clear and accurate information about their products. Panera has stated that it stands by the safety of its products and views the lawsuits as “without merit.”

The lawsuit filed by Lauren Skerritt and the previous lawsuits against Panera raise concerns about the safety and disclosure practices of the popular sandwich chain. The allegations of “permanent cardiac injuries” and the tragic deaths of individuals who consumed the Charged Lemonade are serious and warrant further investigation. The outcomes of these lawsuits could have implications for the regulation of caffeinated beverages and the responsibility of companies to inform consumers about potential health risks.