A Florida woman has brought a federal lawsuit against California blender company NutriBullet LLC, along with four marketing and manufacturing affiliates, after a February 2015 smoothie incident left her with a mangled hand and subsequent infection.
The lawsuit, filed Thursday in the Southern District of Florida, claims that the blades inside Margarett Winslett’s NutriBullet Rx blender began spinning of their own accord while she loaded an assortment of fruit inside the canister.
The resulting lacerations were severe, according to the complaint, causing Winslett extreme pain and potentially permanent hand injury.
Winslett later contracted bacterial superbug Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, at Boca Raton Regional Hospital and unwittingly passed the highly contagious infection to her husband and co-plaintiff Stephen Winslett, according to the lawsuit.
The complaint points the finger at the blender’s plastic material, which it claims distorts over time, and an allegedly defective closed canister design that doesn’t provide an outlet for trapped pressure.
Heat from the motors and blades can accumulate to dangerous levels inside the canisters, which according to the complaint can lead to an unintended separation of the blade from the canister, as it allegedly did with Winslett.
The complaint incorporates NutriBullet testers, distributors and marketers, Capital Brands LLC, Homeland Housewares LLC, Call to Action LLC, NutriLiving LLC, and estimates the alleged defects stretch across all NutriBullet blenders, as they’re similar in design.
NutriBullet, which brands itself “America’s favorite blender,” did not respond to a request for comment, but it has previously argued that misuse of its products could cause injuries like Winslett’s.
Winslett’s Miami lawyer Eric J. Mausner deferred comment to lead counsel Aaron Lavine in California, who did not respond to requests for comment before deadline.
The plaintiff alleges NutriBullet has known about problems with its products since 2011 and should have warned Winslett. Other consumers have claimed the blades can separate from canisters and that some canisters have exploded.
The complaint cites numerous alleged horror stories connected with NutriBullet products, including consumers who’ve suffered severe burns after blenders exploded in Cailfornia and England, claiming the defendants “covered up” reports of those injuries.
In November 2017, more than 20 plaintiffs brought a nationwide class action against NutriBullet over claims its blenders burst. Before that, in 2014, Consumer Reports put the NutriBullet Pro 900 model on its “don’t buy” list after blades came off during lab testing, but has since absolved the blender after the company fixed the issue.
The lawsuit asks for damages — including punitive and exemplary — with interest and attorney fees.
Read the full complaint: