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Pittsburgh-area teenager's lawsuit claims Panera's Charged Lemonade sent him into cardiac arrest

Pittsburgh-area teenager's sues over Panera's Charged Lemonade
Pittsburgh-area teenager sues over Panera's Charged Lemonade 01:50

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- A Pittsburgh-area teenager who says he went into cardiac arrest after drinking a Charged Lemonade at Panera is suing the company, calling the drink defective.

Luke Adams spent eight days at Allegheny Health Network's Forbes Hospital. He said the last thing he remembers is drinking a 30-ounce Charged Lemonade before walking into a movie theater.

Allegheny Health Network cardiologist Dr. Andrew Pogozelski treated Adams. Pogozelski said Adams was unconscious when he first saw him, and he was having seizures. 

Adams is suing Panera, saying hospital paperwork will back up his claim that the Panera Charged Lemonade sent him into cardiac arrest. Pogozelski pointed to heavy caffeine intake as a potential trigger for the otherwise healthy teenager.

The lawsuit says the Charged Lemonade is defective in design and dangerous to drink, saying Panera employees mix the lemonade in house. 

The suit says Panera failed to warn people of the dangers and did not market, advertise or sell the Charged Lemonade as an energy drink. While a large Charged Lemonade could contain up to 390 mg of caffeine, a large Panera dark roast contains more than 100 mg less.

For Adams, it will stick with him the rest of his life.

"He has a defibrillator implanted, so he has an implantable cardiac defibrillator that's tunneled under his skin. It's a newer defibrillator that he can have in for probably about 25 years," Pogozelski told KDKA-TV earlier this month.   

It's at least the fourth lawsuit against Panera over the drink. Once lawsuits started flying, Panera put the lemonades behind the counter so it was no longer self serve and they put more detailed disclosures warning people to drink it in moderation.

About two weeks ago, Panera announced its was doing away with the drink. Panera did not yet respond to KDKA-TV's request for comment for either this story or earlier reporting. 

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