Lauren Skerritt had “no underlying medical conditions" until drinking Panera's Charged Lemonade, according to the complaint obtained by PEOPLE
In a new complaint against Panera, Lauren Skerritt claims that drinking the chain's Charged Lemonade sent her to the hospital and caused her to have “permanent cardiac injuries”
The 28-year-old woman “worked out regularly” before consuming the drink but now she claims she cannot exercise, socialize or work in the same capacity, according to the complaint
A regular size of Panera's Charged Lemonade contains 260 milligrams of caffeine
Lauren Skerritt filed a legal complaint against the bakery chain on Jan. 16. The 28-year-old athlete claims that drinking Charged Lemonade caused her to have “permanent cardiac injuries” despite having “no underlying medical conditions,” per the documents obtained by PEOPLE.
On April 8, Skerritt, an occupational therapist, who played soccer and often competed in obstacle course races, consumed two and a half Charged Lemonades from a Panera in Greenville, Rhode Island. After, she experienced several episodes of palpitations, which she says she has never experienced before, causing her to go to the hospital.
While at the hospital, she experienced a syncopal episode. She was moved to critical care as her heart rate was up in the 180s to 190s. She revisited the hospital on Aug. 30 to be treated for early onset atrial fibrillation and testing showed no evidence of underlying structural heart disease, according to the complaint.
Prior to drinking the lemonades, Skerritt “worked out regularly” but now, months after consuming the beverage, Skerritt alleges that she can no longer exercise, socialize or work in the same capacity. The complaint also claims that since drinking the lemonades Skerritt has experienced shortness of breath, palpitations, brain fog, difficulty thinking and concentrating, body shakes, and weakness. She takes daily medication to regulate her heart rate and rhythm.
A representative for Panera did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment on Skerritt's complaint.
A regular size of the Charged Lemonade drink at Panera contains 260 milligrams of caffeine, while a large has 390 milligrams, according to Panera's website. The drink is advertised as containing “as much caffeine as our Dark Roast coffee.”
Elizabeth Crawford of Kline and Specter, PC. who is representing Skerritt, said in a statement that Skerritt was “seriously injured by Panera’s toxic super energy drink.” Crawford is also representing the families of two people who died after drinking the Charged Lemonades.
Dennis Brown died on Oct. 9 after consuming three cups of Panera’s Charged Lemonade. Sarah Katz, a 21-year-old college student with a heart condition, died in September 2022 after drinking Panera’s caffeinated lemonade.
"We were very saddened to learn this morning about the tragic passing of Sarah Katz, and our hearts go out to her family," a spokesperson for Panera told PEOPLE in October 2023. "At Panera, we strongly believe in transparency around our ingredients. We will work quickly to thoroughly investigate this matter."
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