The infamous highly caffeinated Charged Lemonade from Panera Bread is now being accused of causing a second death, according to a lawsuit that was filed on Monday.
On Oct. 9 Dennis Brown from Fleming Island, Florida, drank three Charge Lemonades from a local Panera and then suffered a fatal cardiac arrest on his way home, according to the suit, via NBC News.
The lawsuit noted that that it is unclear if Brown knew that the drink contained caffeine and other stimulants, as it is a self-serve beverage next to other non or less caffeinated drinks.
The lawsuit, which was filed by Brown’s mother, sister, and brother, comes less than two months after another lawsuit was filed against Panera an behalf of Sarah Katz, an Ivy League student with a heart condition who died in September 2022 after drinking a Charged Lemonade.
Katz’s lawsuit argued that Panera did properly inform consumers of the ingredients within the lemonades, including the stimulant guarana extract, and referred to it as a “dangerous energy drink.”
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Brown, who was 46, had an unspecified chromosomal deficiency disorder, a developmental delay, and a mild intellectual disability. Brown, who lived alone, was known for frequently stopping at Panera after his shifts at the supermarket, the legal complaint stated. The complaint also noted that Brown was not allowed to drink energy drinks due to his high blood pressure.
The Charged Lemonade, NBC News stated, was originally advertised as a “plant-based and clean with as much caffeine as our Dark Roast coffee.” It is now advertised on their website as “Naturally flavored, plant-based. Contains caffeine. Use in moderation. NOT RECOMMENDED FOR children, people sensitive to caffeine, pregnant or nursing women.”
“Panera expresses our deep sympathy for Mr. Brown’s family,” a statement from the company in response to the lawsuit said.“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. Panera stands firmly by the safety of our products.”
The legal complaint noted that the Charged Lemonade has 390 milligrams of caffeine meaning that a large, 30-ounce lemonade contains more caffeine than any size of the dark roast coffee Panera has. It also has more caffeine in it than the standard cans of Red Bull and Monster energy drinks combined.
According to the Food and Drug Administration, healthy adults are able to safely consume only 400 milligrams of caffeine a day.