Panera Bread Sued for Wrongful Death Due To Surprisingly Caffeinated Drink
Popular restaurant chain Panera Bread is now facing a wrongful death lawsuit after one woman allegedly died from drinking its highly caffeinated lemonade drink. The chain has since released a warning to customers, informing them that each of these drinks contains about as much caffeine as a cup of the company’s dark roast coffee, and therefore, the drink should be used in moderation, and avoided by children.
Still, many – including the family of the deceased victim – have pointed out that this warning comes far too late as, while the “charged lemonades” are now being marketed as plant-based “clean caffeine” instant energy drinks that contain both green tea and guarana extracts, it was not advertised as a caffeinated energy drink at all at the time the victim purchased and drank the lemonade.
What Failure to Disclose Costs
A lack of disclosing that the lemonade contains caffeine has the potential to harm individuals with particular medical conditions, whereby consuming caffeine and/or certain extracts can place their health and their lives in danger.
According to the autopsy report, the victim’s death was caused by cardiac arrhythmia due to her syndrome, where the fast and irregular heartbeats that came about from consuming the caffeinated drink were life-threatening. In this particular case, the decedent had longtime heart issues, with a diagnosis of Congenital Long QT Syndrome Type 1, which can result in life-threatening abnormal heart rhythms due to improperly functioning potassium ion channels in the heart disrupting the heart’s electrical activity. Yet even with her own awareness of her medical issues, there was arguably no way for the victim to know that she was drinking caffeine with the lemonade, given Panera’s lack of disclosures from the initial release of the drink to the public.
Warning Still Insufficient to Protect Public
In addition, the warning is arguably still insufficient and misleading and could lead to more people getting hurt: A 20-ounce serving size reportedly contains 260 milligrams of caffeine, while the larger 30-ounce serving contains 390 milligrams. This amount – 400 milligrams – is equivalent to the amount of caffeine in four to five cups of coffee, not just one.
In addition, reports indicate that the lemonade is mixed “in-house” by store employees, meaning that the caffeine content is not controlled, and therefore has the potential to continue to harm consumers.
When You’re Harmed, Speak with the Right Attorney
Losing a loved one to negligence like this, where the entire incident could have been prevented, had consumers simply been warned, is a tragedy families never recover from. Cases like these require Las Vegas wrongful death attorneys to help families obtain the justice they deserve.
The personal injury attorneys of Cameron Law are here to help: If you or a loved one has been harmed here in Las Vegas, contact us today to schedule a free confidential consultation and find out more.