Panera’s Charged Lemonade cited in lawsuit over teen’s cardiac arrest

Panera Bread plans to stop selling Charged Sips caffeinated drinks amid lawsuits

Panera Bread plans to stop selling Charged Sips caffeinated drinks amid lawsuits


An 18-year-old high school student suffered cardiac arrest after drinking a caffeine-laden lemonade from Panera Bread, according to a lawsuit filed weeks after the nationwide chain said it was phasing out the controversial beverage. 

Filed in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, the suit follows at least three other complaints lodged against Panera over the highly caffeinated, sugary drinks dubbed Charged Sips. The previous suits alleged the beverage caused two deaths and long-term heart problems for another customer in Rhode Island.

The latest suit claims Luke Adams of Monroeville, Pa., had to be resuscitated in a movie theater after a friend heard him making unusual sounds on the evening of March 9, 2024. The incident occurred several hours after the teen had consumed a chicken sandwich and a large Mango Yuzu Citrus Charged Lemonade from a local Panera eatery. 

A recent photo of Luke Adams, a high school student in Monroeville, Pa.

Family of Luke Adams

Adams was unaware the Charged Lemonade filled for him by a Panera employee was a super energy drink with high amounts of caffeine, sugar and guarana, according to the complaint, which noted the drink contains 390 miligrams of caffeine without ice and 237 milligrams of caffein with ice. 

A cardiologist and two nurses also at the movie theater performed CPR on Adams, whose heart was shocked by an automated external defibrillator, according to the suit. Adams had two seizures after being rushed to the hospital, the complaint stated.

“Luke’s cardiac arrest would have been prevented if Panera had removed this dangerous product from their shelves after three lawsuits had been filed,” Elizabeth Crawford, a partner in Philadelphia-based law firm Kline & Spector, which represents Adams and plaintiffs in three other suits against Panera, told CBS MoneyWatch in an email.

Panera did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The restaurant chain had previously said its products were safe

Privately held by German investment firm JAB Holding Co., Panera operates more than 2,000 eateries across the U.S. and Canada.

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