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 January 21, 2024

Woman Sues Panera Over ‘Charged Lemonade’

A Rhode Island woman's lawsuit against Panera Bread brings a startling claim to the forefront, alleging that their caffeinated beverage, 'Charged Lemonade', led to her permanent cardiac injury.

Lauren Skerritt, 28, is accusing Panera Bread of causing severe health issues following her consumption of their 'Charged Lemonade' drink which is available for unrestricted purchase inside all Paneras across the nation. 

A sudden turn of health events

Skerritt, a physically fit and previously healthy individual, faced a drastic change in her health after consuming two-and-a-half servings of 'Charged Lemonade'. This incident occurred in April last year.

Following this, Skerritt has reportedly been struggling with a range of alarming symptoms. These include heart palpitations, dizziness, and repeated hospital visits.

Her post-consumption condition has been so severe that she now requires regular heart medication and has significantly reduced her physical activity.

Complications in family planning

The legal complaint also highlights a personal toll on Skerritt's life. She and her husband have had to postpone their plans to start a family due to her now high-risk health condition.

This shift in Skerritt's health is attributed to the Charged Lemonade, which Panera Bread introduced in early 2022. Marketed as a source of "clean and plant-based" caffeine, the drink initially contained nearly 400 milligrams of caffeine per large cup.

However, this amount was later reduced to about 230 milligrams following public awareness and concerns about its high caffeine content.

Voices raised against the product

Online users, including Sarah Baus, have been vocal about the risks associated with the Charged Lemonade's caffeine content. Baus's comments, in particular, pointed towards the potential health hazards of the drink.

In addition to Skerritt's lawsuit, Panera Bread faces other legal challenges linked to the same product. Tragically, two families have sued the company, claiming the deaths of their loved ones were due to the consumption of the Charged Lemonade.

These include the case of Sarah Katz, a 21-year-old who suffered from Long QT syndrome and died after consuming the drink, and Dennis Brown, a 46-year-old man with high blood pressure who suffered cardiac arrest post-consumption.

Legal battles and Panera's stance

Panera Bread has consistently denied any responsibility for these incidents, asserting the safety of their products. This includes their response to the lawsuits brought against them.

However, the lawsuits allege that Panera Bread failed to properly market the Charged Lemonade as an energy drink. This, according to the plaintiffs, is a crucial oversight given the drink's high caffeine content.

Attorney Elizabeth Crawford, representing the affected parties, has emphasized the necessity of adequate warnings and clearer advertising for such high-caffeine products.

“Panera Bread, this drink should come with a warning because it’s delicious and will lead to my cardiac arrest,” said Sarah Baus.

The legal team argues that the Charged Lemonade is "dangerous" and has been inadequately advertised as a super energy drink, misleading consumers about its potential risks.

Further complicating the situation is Panera's denial of any link between their product and the alleged health impacts. The company stands firmly by the safety of its Charged Lemonade.

Amidst these allegations and defenses, the legal battles continue to unfold, bringing to light concerns over the safety and marketing of caffeinated beverages.

Why this story matters

This case is significant as it underscores the potential health risks associated with high-caffeine drinks.

It also raises questions about the responsibility of corporations in marketing and labeling their products, especially when they could pose health risks.

The story of Lauren Skerritt serves as a cautionary tale about the importance of being informed about what we consume and the hidden dangers that might lurk in seemingly harmless products.

As the legal proceedings continue, this story could set a precedent for how similar cases are handled in the future and possibly lead to stricter regulations in the food and beverage industry.

Lessons to learn from this tragedy

From the unfortunate events surrounding the Charged Lemonade, several key lessons emerge:

1. Always be aware of the caffeine content in beverages, especially those marketed as energy drinks.

2. Companies should be transparent and explicit in their product labeling, especially when potential health risks are involved.

3. Consumers should exercise caution and consult healthcare professionals if they have pre-existing health conditions or concerns about certain products.

4. Legal and regulatory bodies need to ensure that food and beverage products are safe for public consumption and adequately labeled.

It is important to remember that while we can take steps to protect ourselves, crime can happen to anyone, and victims should never be blamed.


  • Lauren Skerritt sued Panera Bread, claiming their Charged Lemonade caused her permanent cardiac injury.
  • Skerritt's health significantly deteriorated post-consumption, leading to serious symptoms and lifestyle changes.
  • Public concerns and other lawsuits against Panera Bread highlight the risks associated with high-caffeine beverages.
  • Panera Bread denies responsibility, standing by their product's safety.
  • The lawsuits and ongoing legal battles emphasize the need for clearer product labeling and awareness.

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Written By: Rampart Stonebridge

I'm Rampart Stonebridge, a curious and passionate writer who can't get enough of true crime. As a criminal investigative journalist, I put on my detective hat, delving deep into each case to reveal the hidden truths. My mission? To share engaging stories and shed light on the complexities of our mysterious world, all while satisfying your curiosity about the intriguing realm of true crime.
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