Charged Lemonade Sparks Legal Woes as Panera Confronts Another Lawsuit
Panera Bread is grappling with a third lawsuit related to its Charged Lemonade drink, as the fast-casual bakery and cafe chain continues to contend with two ongoing wrongful death lawsuits tied to the caffeinated beverage.
The latest lawsuit, filed on January 16, alleges that the plaintiff, Lauren Skerritt, suffered “permanent” heart problems due to consuming Panera’s Charged Lemonade. In the complaint obtained by ABC News, Skerritt, described as otherwise healthy with no underlying medical conditions, claims to have experienced “permanent cardiac injuries” as a result of drinking the beverage.
Skerritt, a vegetarian, reportedly ordered and consumed two-and-one-half Panera Charged Lemonades in April at a Rhode Island location. The lawsuit notes that she chose the drink because it was advertised as “plant-based” and “clean.”
After consuming the Charged Lemonade, Skerritt allegedly faced “episodes of palpitations with one near syncopal episode.” Seeking medical help the next day, she reportedly had a syncopal episode in the hospital, leading to her transfer to a critical care unit as her heart rate spiked.
In August, Skerritt visited the hospital again for “recurrent episodes of rapid heartbeat” and was treated for new-onset atrial fibrillation. The complaint details ongoing health issues, including supraventricular tachycardia, shortness of breath, palpitations, brain fog, difficulty thinking and concentrating, body shakes, weakness, and a tremor in her left hand.
Panera’s large-size Charged Lemonade was previously listed as containing 390 milligrams of caffeine, just 10 milligrams below the recommended daily maximum adult consumption amount, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.