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Panera Bread Sued Over Grilled Cheese, Peanut Allergy Complaints

Panera Bread Sued Over Grilled Cheese, Peanut Allergy Complaints
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Panera Bread Co (NASDAQ: PNRA) was sued by the family of a six-year-old peanut-allergic child who had an anaphylactic reaction requiring hospitalization after an online order of grilled cheese contained peanut butter, according to a Boston Globe report.

The Boston Globe said the family "filed suit last week in Middlesex Superior Court against Panera and a group of Panera franchises in New England."

According to the court complaint, the child's mother placed an online order for grilled cheese at the Wayland Panera on January 28, specifying that the order was for a child with peanut allergies.

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The court complaint states that the restaurant "engaged in unfair and deceptive business practices by adding peanut butter to the plaintiff's grilled cheese sandwich knowing that [she] has a life-threatening peanut allergy."

According to the report, John Russo, the father of the child, said a manager at the Natick restaurant "apologized to him profusely and blamed the incident on a 'language' issue."

Russo retorted that the explanation was "no excuse" and seemed implausible. "Since the online order twice said 'peanut allergy,' he asked, 'Did they just see "peanut" and not the "allergy" part?'"

The Boston Globe said Mitchell Roberts, operating partner of PR Restaurants, "said in a brief phone interview Thursday that he was not aware of the lawsuit, and he expressed surprise when told of the charges in the complaint."

According to the report, Roberts posed, "'They're saying there were two different cases at two different restaurants of ours where someone ordered a grilled cheese sandwich and said they had a peanut allergy and they were served grilled cheese sandwiches with peanut butter in them?' Roberts asked. 'That doesn't sound feasible.'"

At time of writing, Panera was down 1.37 percent at $215.83.

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