Second lawsuit filed against Panera claims Florida man Dennis Brown died from ‘Charged Lemonade’


Panera Bread is now facing a second wrongful death lawsuit tied to its caffeinated “Charged Lemonade.”

A lawsuit, filed Monday, alleges Panera’s lemonade drink caused the death of a Florida man, Dennis Brown, 46, after he went into cardiac arrest when he left the restaurant.

According to the lawsuit, Brown consumed a lemonade with his dinner at the Panera Bread near his job in Florida and died while he was walking home.

The lawsuit alleges Brown had been drinking the lemonade for six days and was a member of Panera’s Unlimited Sip Club, where you can order unlimited drinks.

According to Panera’s menu, a large, Charged Lemonade has 390 milligrams of caffeine, close to the FDA’s 400-milligram daily maximum intake.

Panera’s 30-ounce charged lemonade also contains more caffeine than both Red Bull and Monster energy drinks, combined.

The family of Dennis Brown is suing Panera Bread after they say the restaurant’s Charged Lemonade drink contributed to his death. Family of Dennis Brown / Action News Jax
The lemonade drink contains more caffeine than both Red Bull and Monster energy drinks, combined. Gado via Getty Images

Panera released a statement about Monday’s lawsuit, saying:

“Panera expresses our deep sympathy for Mr. Brown’s family. Based on our investigation we believe his unfortunate passing was not caused by one of the company’s products. We view this lawsuit which was filed by the same law firm as a previous claim to be equally without merit. Panera stands firmly by the safety of our products.”

As a result of the first lawsuit filed against the company in October, when 21-year-old Sarah Katz, a University of Pennsylvania student, died after drinking the charged lemonades, Panera’s mobile app now has a warning that states “Consume in moderation, not recommended for children, people sensitive to caffeine, pregnant or nursing women.” 

Sarah Katz, who had a heart condition, died after she drank Panera Bread’s Charged Lemonade. Courtesy Katz Family

Katz suffered from a heart condition and usually avoided caffeine, according to her family and friends, who stated she likely didn’t realize the drink was caffeinated.

Panera Bread and the FDA did not immediately respond to FOX Business’ request for comment.

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