21-Year-Old Ivy League Student Dies After Drinking Lemonade From Popular Food Chain

Note: we are republishing this story which originally made the news in October 2023.

In a tragic turn of events, the family of Sarah Katz has taken legal action against Panera Bread, alleging that the restaurant’s Charged Lemonade led to Sarah’s accidental caffeine overdose and subsequent cardiac arrest. The incident occurred on September 10, 2022, during a friend’s birthday dinner, where Sarah, a student and research assistant at the University of Pennsylvania, collapsed.

Earlier that day, Sarah had availed herself of Panera Bread’s SIP Club Membership, which offers unlimited beverages, including Charged Lemonades. According to Sarah’s family attorney, Elizabeth Crawford, the 30-ounce lemonade provided through the membership contained a staggering 390 milligrams of caffeine, more than the combined caffeine content of a Red Bull and a Monster energy drink.

Despite FDA warnings of potential negative consequences for those exceeding 400mg of caffeine daily, the lawsuit argues that for Sarah, who suffered from long QT syndrome type 1, the decision was a matter of life or death. Sarah’s medical condition required her to steer clear of energy drinks, making the accidental consumption of the high-caffeine lemonade particularly perilous.

Crawford highlights Sarah’s meticulous approach to her health, with regular medications, scheduled visits to cardiologists, and normal cardiac appointments. The only notable change in Sarah’s routine, according to Crawford, was the consumption of the Charged Lemonade.

After Sarah’s untimely death, her parents reportedly connected the dots when they discovered a credit card charge for the drink subscriptions. Crawford claims that the family began to question whether Sarah was aware of the drink’s potency, considering her roommate’s account of the events on September 10.

Photo Credit: KTVB/Youtube

Photo Credit: KTVB/Youtube

Crawford contends that Panera’s Charged Lemonade, promoted as “plant-based and clean,” contains guarana, a stimulant with double the caffeine concentration of coffee and considerable sugar content. While Panera asserts equivalence to the caffeine in a dark roast coffee, Crawford argues that the 20-ounce dark roast, the largest size available, pales in comparison to the large lemonade’s caffeine content.

In the wrongful death civil suit, Crawford and her legal team allege that Panera was aware of the potential harm posed by the drink. They seek compensatory damages if the court rules in their favor. The Katz family hopes that sharing Sarah’s story will raise awareness and prevent similar tragedies, emphasizing Sarah’s commitment to community service, including teaching CPR measures in underserved areas.

Fox News has reached out to Panera Bread for comment on the allegations. As legal proceedings unfold, the case underscores the importance of transparent product information and the potential consequences of hidden dangers in food and beverage offerings.

Sources: The U.S. Sun

Similar Posts