In November 2017, news broke that a group of 22 customers filed a lawsuit against NutriBullet for experiencing injuries while using the product. The injuries reported in the case ranged from burns from exploding blenders to damage from the blades themselves. It's not the first time NutriBullet has experienced these claims and their standard response was, as one might expect, that the customers were not using the NutriBullet blender as intended. However, most customers claim that they were using the blender as intended. Here's a recap of the injuries, and the developments in the case.
We first started following the story when TMZ reported that Wendy Littlefield chopped her tomatoes and her hand, literally, in her NutriBullet blender. Blending just canned tomatoes and beans, the NutriBullet 900 series exploded and the blades spun into her hand. She had multiple surgeries, but lost the use and feeling of two fingers. She filed her suit with Abir, Cohen, Treyzon & Salo, LLP, with two other consumers that claimed injuries.
In November, Brendan Cosso told FOX 11 that after being a longtime user, his NutriBullet exploded after only 20 seconds of blending a breakfast drink. As he told FOX 11, "This thing just chopped my hand to pieces pretty much. I was making it, went to grab it, the container exploded off and my hand went right into the blades." He received stitches, but still can't feel his finger.
Sheryl Utal also told FOX 11 about the experience that left her with second degree burns on her arms and chest. Recounting her experience, she said, "I had my hands on it, like your normally do as you put it in and turn it to lock it in place, and it was on for maybe 15 to 20 seconds and it exploded. It spins so fast that it heats up the contents, the contents get under pressure, and the device explodes, so that hot liquid exploded onto me and created nasty burns."
Her lawsuit specifically claims that the assembly blade detached from the canister and sprayed the scalding contents of it over her arms, face, and chest. Hers was one of the 22 lawsuits, along with Cosso's, filed in November by Doug Rochen with ACTS Law. The photos of her injuries are graphic, and you can browse them here.
NutriBullet has long maintained that consumers are not using the product correctly, stating that hot liquid cannot go into the blender. In November's case, a NutriBullet spokesperson even stated that it's impossible for these incidents to occur if the blender was used as intended. Many NutriBullet customers that have received severe burns, however, claim that they used room temperature ingredients.
Now, more NutriBullet victims are coming forward with lawsuits. Fabiana Nishioka spoke to the Daily Mail about her pro 900 model that exploded while she was making hummus. Blending room temperature chickpeas, garlic, and lime, her NutriBullet Pro 900 exploded. Unaware that the contents were heating up, she was burned on her neck, face, and chest when she stopped blending and the base assembly exploded from the canister. Her neck injuries were so severe, it likely caused permanent disfigurement to her neck. She is also represented by an attorney at Abir, Cohen, Treyzon, & Salo LLP.
Still, NutriBullet continues to claim that consumers are blending hot liquids, which causes the explosion, but Nishioka's case is one more example that it's the NutriBullet itself causing the liquid and items inside to overheat. However, with Wendy Littlefield's similar incident, it's clear that the blender's spinning creates heat and the content becomes hot mixtures without consumer control. This manufacturing defect, which clearly is responsible for causing injury during normal operation, needs to be addressed. Is one only meant to use their NutriBullet for cool ingredients, like frozen fruit? For a high-speed blender with plenty of brand name recognition, it's not likely.
On May 1, 2018, FOX 11 obtained test videos turned over by NutriBullet in a lawsuit. The device was shown exploding in different circumstances, and attorneys for NutriBullet requested that FOX 11 remove the video. That didn't happen, and you can watch it below.
NutriBullet sent the following statement to FOX 11 in November, addressing the case that FOX 11 initially brought to the public, highlighting cases from 2016 that went under-reported.
"Every day, millions of NutriBullet customers blend nutritious smoothies from fruits, vegetables and nuts in NutriBullets. NutriBullets are safe and present no issue if used as directed and operated only as long as necessary to prepare a smoothie, which is generally less than one minute.
NutriBullet is dedicated to the safety of its customers, and investigates allegations of injuries involving its products. Unlike the plaintiffs' attorneys in these cases, however, NutriBullet is bound by the laws of physics.
As plaintiffs' attorneys are well aware, numerous tests, including those already performed by their own experts, establish that NutriBullets cannot "hyper-heat" room temperature ingredients and rupture in a short period of time. In fact, experts for the plaintiffs' lawyers have testified under oath that a separation of the NutriBullet blade and cup assemblies due to a build-up of heat and pressure could only occur after 10-20 minutes of continuous use."
What should you do with your NutriBullet?
NutriBullet repeatedly stated that consumers are not using the machine properly. Under proper use, the machine would only be on for 1 minute and would be blending together fruit, vegetables, and nuts for a smoothie.
If this has happened to you, the Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting NutriBullet induced injury cases in all 50 states. The firm is not filing a class action lawsuit, but instead individual lawsuits for people who were injured. If you or someone you know was affected by a NutriBullet induced injury, go to this website to fill out the form for a free case evaluation.