Panera To Discontinue Charged Lemonade Drinks Amid Wrongful Death Lawsuits

Panera Bread announced it will phase out its Charged Lemonade drinks nationwide following allegations that the caffeinated beverages caused two deaths. The company confirmed the decision on Tuesday but did not specify whether the move was in response to the lawsuits or health concerns.

A 21-year-old college student with a heart condition, identified as Sarah Katz,, died in September 2022 after drinking a Charged Lemonade. Her family filed a lawsuit against Panera, alleging the drink, which contains higher caffeine levels than Red Bull and Monster Energy Drink combined, came with no warning.

In a separate lawsuit, Dennis Brown of Fleming Island, Florida, allegedly died from cardiac arrest after consuming three Charged Lemonades, unknowingly ingesting extremely high levels of caffeine, according to the suit filed in Superior Court in Delaware. Another plaintiff claims Panera’s Charged Lemonade left her with long-term heart problems.

Panera’s website lists the Charged Sips beverages containing between 155 and 302 milligrams of caffeine. The drinks come with a warning indicating they are not recommended for “children, people sensitive to caffeine, pregnant or nursing women.” The company is introducing new low-sugar and low-caffeine drinks after listening to customers’ suggestions.

Panera Bread found itself in hot water for failing to properly disclose the high caffeine content in some of its drinks, potentially putting customers at risk. While caffeine can be a lifesaver for boosting alertness, consuming too much can lead to jitters, anxiety and worse.

In a refreshing turn of events, Panera took responsibility for its mistake after conducting a thorough review and listening to customer concerns. By updating their labeling to clearly reflect the caffeine content of their beverages, Panera demonstrated a commitment to transparency and customer well-being, setting an admirable example for other companies faced with similar missteps.