December 6, 2023

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A 21-year-old Ivy League pupil with a coronary heart situation died after consuming Panera’s caffeinated “Charged Lemonade,” in accordance with a wrongful demise lawsuit filed by her mother and father.

In September 2022, Sarah Katz, a College of Pennsylvania pupil, suffered a cardiac arrest whereas eating along with her buddies after ingesting the restaurant’s caffeinated beverage containing extra caffeine, 390 milligrams, than three cans of Purple Bull, the declare mentioned.

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The authorized grievance — filed within the Philadelphia Court docket of Frequent Pleas — known as the beverage a “harmful vitality drink,” saying the restaurant chain didn’t warn shoppers about its substances, court docket paperwork first obtained by NBC Information confirmed.

The younger pupil “consumed the Panera Charged Lemonade, fairly assured it was a conventional lemonade” or an “electrolyte sports activities drink containing an affordable quantity of caffeine secure for her to drink,” the grievance mentioned.

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At 5 years previous, Katz was identified with a coronary heart situation known as lengthy QT syndrome sort 1, inflicting quick and chaotic heartbeats. She managed the signs by taking treatment and avoiding vitality drinks as per her physician’s suggestion.

Sarah Katz suffered a cardiac arrest while dining with her friends at Panera
Sarah Katz suffered a cardiac arrest whereas eating along with her buddies at Panera Photograph by The SADS Basis

Victoria Rose Conroy, her faculty roommate, advised NBC that Katz “was very, very vigilant about what she wanted to do to maintain herself secure.”

“I assure if Sarah had identified how a lot caffeine this was, she by no means would have touched it with a 10-foot pole,” Conroy added.

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The restaurant’s Charged Lemonade was “provided side-by-side with all of Panera’s non-caffeinated and/or much less caffeinated drinks” and was marketed as a “plant-based and clear” drink with as a lot caffeine as its darkish roast espresso, in accordance with pictures of the menu and beverage dispensers.

Moreover, the lemonade comprises one other stimulant, guarana extract, that has the equal of just about 30 teaspoons of sugar.

“I feel everybody thinks lemonade is secure. And actually, this isn’t lemonade in any respect. It’s an vitality drink that has lemon flavour,” Elizabeth Crawford, the lawyer representing Katz’s mother and father, advised NBC. “It ought to have an enough warning.”

The lawyer desires to make sure that the vitality drink features a warning or is faraway from Panera’s menu.

“It’s a harmful vitality drink and it’s not marketed that approach. We wish to make sure that this doesn’t occur to another person,” she advised CNN.

A Panera spokesperson mentioned they have been “very saddened to be taught in regards to the tragic passing of Sarah Katz,” and “strongly imagine[s] in transparency round our substances.”

Katz was a Purple Cap ambassador with the American Coronary heart Affiliation (AHA), the place she taught CPR in excessive colleges and underserved communities, the Sudden Arrhythmia Demise Syndromes basis wrote in reminiscence of the scholar.

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