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Panera Sued By Family Of Student Who Died After Drinking ‘Dangerous’ Caffeinated Lemonade

panera lemonade
Panera Bread Sued Following Student's DeathSmith Collection/Gado / Getty Images
  • Panera Bread is at the center of a lawsuit due to a controversial beverage sold at its cafés.

  • The lawsuit was filed on behalf of the family of a University of Pennsylvania student who died hours after drinking one of Panera's caffeinated Charged Lemonades.

  • Panera released a statement following the news of the lawsuit, saying that they plan to investigate.


Panera Bread is at the center of a newly filed lawsuit due to a controversial beverage sold at its cafés. NBC News reports that the lawsuit was filed on behalf of the family of a University of Pennsylvania student who died hours after drinking Panera's caffeinated Charged Lemonades.

The lawsuit, which was filed earlier this week in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, describes the highly-caffeinated lemonade as "dangerous" and alleges that Panera doesn't properly warn customers about its ingredients.

This week's filing comes months after 21-year-old Sarah Katz bought a Charged Lemonade from a Panera location in Philadelphia and went into cardiac arrest after collapsing at a friend's birthday dinner. According to friends, Katz, who was diagnosed with the heart condition long QT syndrome at a young age, would have never purchased the beverage if she was aware of the caffeine content.

“She was very, very vigilant about what she needed to do to keep herself safe. I guarantee if Sarah had known how much caffeine this was, she never would have touched it with a 10-foot pole,” Victoria Rose Conroy, a close friend of Katz, shared with NBC News.

panera charged lemonade
Smith Collection/Gado - Getty Images

Panera did offer a statement following the news of the lawsuit, letting it be known that they plan to investigate.

"We were very saddened to learn this morning about the tragic passing of Sarah Katz, and our hearts go out to her family. At Panera, we strongly believe in transparency around our ingredients. We will work quickly to thoroughly investigate this matter,” the statement read.

Panera's Charged Lemonades had a viral moment in December 2022 when a TikToker unexpectedly discovered that the beverage has more caffeine than four espresso shots.

According to the Panera website, a large serving of the Mango Yuzu Citrus or Strawberry Lemon Mint Charged Lemonade has 390 mg of caffeine, while a large Blood Orange (a sugar-free option) has 368 mg.

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