Gather ’round for a tale of caffeinated chaos brought to you by the one and only Panera and their electrifying creation, Charged Lemonade. Picture this: a beverage so jacked up on caffeine that it makes your morning cup of joe look like a cozy catnap. We’re talking 300mg of pure liquid energy, making Red Bull and Monster look like sleepy kittens in comparison.
But hold onto your barista hats, because the saga doesn’t end with just a caffeine kick. Oh no, Panera, in all its wisdom, marketed this concoction not as an energy drink but as a “plant-based and clean” elixir, claiming it’s as harmless as your grandma’s herbal tea. Well, cue the lawsuit parade! In December, we chatted about families slapping Panera with wrongful death suits faster than you can say, “Triple shot espresso.” They argued that the Charged Lemonade was more like a secret agent of chaos, lurking in the shadows with more caffeine and sugar than your dentist would approve of.
Now, fast forward to last week, where we’re introduced to the latest character in this caffeinated drama: Lauren Skerritt, the brave soul who dared to face two and a half (yes, you read that right, two and a half!) Charged Lemonades in one go. What followed was a heart-racing saga that puts soap operas to shame. Lauren claims she ended up with “permanent cardiac injuries,” and I’m not talking about heartbreak from a bad date.
Our dear Lauren, a once-athletic occupational therapist and obstacle course warrior, now finds herself in a caffeine-induced nightmare. After sipping on Panera’s energy bomb, she experienced palpitations, hospital visits, and heart rates that could rival a Formula 1 race. The poor woman had to revisit the hospital in August, where they diagnosed her with early onset atrial fibrillation. That’s a mouthful, but basically, her heart decided to go on a rollercoaster ride without her consent.
Now, she’s stuck with a list of side effects longer than your grandma’s grocery list: shortness of breath, palpitations, brain fog, difficulty thinking (probably contemplating her life choices), body shakes, and weakness. Lauren’s daily routine now includes playing a game of “How Normal Can I Feel Today?” all thanks to a couple of sips from Panera’s cup of chaos.
And what’s Panera’s response to this caffeinated catastrophe? Crickets. Silence. Nada. No comment on the allegations. Meanwhile, Elizabeth Crawford, the legal maestro representing Lauren, describes it as Panera’s “toxic super energy drink.” Toxic super energy drink? Sounds like something out of a Marvel movie, doesn’t it?
So, dear Panera, when will you wake up and smell the decaf? Maybe it’s time to reconsider what’s brewing in that Charged Lemonade cauldron. What’s the target audience for a drink that turns people into human expresso machines? If lowering the caffeine content isn’t on the agenda, perhaps it’s time to retire Charged Lemonades before we turn this into a full-blown caffeine-driven horror show. Because, let’s be real, we don’t need more casualties in the great battle of Brewmageddon.