Capital Brands, the maker of the high-speed blender NutriBullet, is now facing a lawsuit that alleges the company failed to warn consumers about the gadget’s potential to explode without warning. Such explosions, the new suit claims, can cause severe injuries to consumers, including flesh wounds, broken bones, and severe burns.
The July 2 court filing accuses Capital Brands of violating both federal and state consumer protection laws in addition to product warranty laws. The injured plaintiff, a South Carolina woman, suffered second-degree burns on her chest and first-degree burns on her arms, injuries that caused her to miss work and face medical bills of nearly $6,000, which she was forced to pay out-of-pocket.
In addition to damages, she seeks an order that will prevent Capital Brands from continuing sale of its NutriBullet blender. The plaintiff would also like the company to warn people who already own the NutriBullet of the product’s possible defects, which can ultimately lead to injury.
Is the NutriBullet Blender Safe?
Much like the July 2 court filing, a similar case was filed by a North Carolina woman in December 2017, which is still pending in federal court. Still, these 2 cases are not the only NutriBullet lawsuits – in fact, there are 86 additional suits levied against Capital Brands.
Due to the way the NutriBullet is constructed and because of how it functions, the blender’s cannister builds pressure – and this pressure can become so much that the cannister separates from the machine’s other components, ultimately causing its parts to break apart and go flying through the air, putting everyone within close range at serious risk of injury.
As the most recent lawsuit claims, explosions can still occur even while a consumer is making a cold smoothie; the heat from the blender’s high-speed blades can cause the smoothie ingredients to become “scalding hot.” Even after normal use, the suit claims, the buildup of pressure can detach the blade assembly and send it flying after blender’s lid is taken off.
NutriBullet Lawsuits – Company Plans to Fight Back
In spite of the dozens of lawsuits filed against the maker of NutriBullet, Capital Brands has yet to issue a recall or – at the very minimum – a warning. The company claims the blender can be used safely for a maximum of 60 seconds. At 60 seconds, the blender’s built-in safety feature will kick in and effectively cut off power to the device. Because of this safety feature, Capital Brands plans to contest any and all claims that the NutriBullet is unsafe when used properly.
Counter to Capital Brands’ claim, however, the July 2 lawsuit claims that the NutriBullet has had defects dating back to 2007 when consumers first started complaining about the product exploding unexpectedly to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Such consumer complaints were listed on CPSC’s SaferProducts website, in addition to the company’s Facebook page.
Still, in spite of all of the complaints and the mounting lawsuits, Capital Brands continues to defend the quality of its product, calling consumer complaints “irrelevant” and “improper.” In a statement, the company said:
“NutriBullet is dedicated to the safety and satisfaction of its customers. Every day, millions of customers safely use the NutriBullet to blend nutritious smoothies from fruits, vegetables, and nuts. NutriBullets are safe and present no issue if used as directed, such as not blending heated foods, or using the blender for longer than necessary to make a smoothie, which is generally less than one minute.”
But perhaps most disturbing of all is the fact that videos from NutriBullet’s own testing facility show the product clearly exploding during safety checks.
Consumer Reports urged its readers not to buy the NutriBullet Pro 900 back in 2014, after the consumer protection company noticed that the product’s blades cracked during certain durability tests. NutriBullet disputed Consumer Report’s findings. It remains unclear why Capital Brands chose not to take precautionary measures in spite of the numerous safety concerns and customer injuries.
With over 14 million units sold worldwide, there’s no telling how many more injuries will need to occur before Capital Brands takes action to ensure their products are 100 percent safe. Until that day comes, owners of the NutriBullet should regard their blenders with extreme caution; with the company seemingly unwilling to take the extra steps to protect all of customers, people must, unfortunately, take safety into their own hands.