At least 22 people are suing NutriBullet, claiming the high-speed blenders malfunctioned and left them with severe injuries, CBS reported.
Several of the lawsuits claimed the NutriBullets "exploded" from heat and pressure building inside the sealed container, causing users to be burned, according to court documents.
Many of the lawsuits also claimed users of the device got deep lacerations when its blades began spinning before it was fully assembled. Several people allegedly required stitches, and at least one claimed to have had a finger "severed."
Several plaintiffs claimed to have been permanently injured by the devices and said they're unlikely to ever fully heal.
Brendan Cosso, one of the plaintiffs from the Los Angeles area, told FOX 11 he'd used his NutriBullet for years until it exploded this past September after just 20 seconds of use.
"This thing just chopped by hand to pieces pretty much," Cosso said. "I was making it, went to grab it, the container exploded off, and my hand went right into the blades."
Cosso said he had to get stitches, and he still can't feel his finger.
Another NutriBullet user, Sheryl Utal, said she got second-degree burns on her arms and chest after it exploded this past May.
"I had my hands on it, like you 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," said Utal. "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."
Doug Rochen, the attorney representing Cosso and Utal, said the tendency for NutriBullets to malfunction in this way is due to pressue that builds inside the product with no place to escape.
"It builds up pressure, and heat within the unit, which causes the body of the vessel to separate from the blade assembly like a rocket ship, and it explodes," Rochen said.
Another plaintiff, Rosa Rivera, told CBS Los Angeles an exploding NutriBullet left her with second-degree burns on Nov. 4.
In a press conference Tuesday morning, Rivera warned other people about the device.
“Don’t use this product no more because it’s dangerous,” Rivera said.
A spokesperson for Nutribullet told BuzzFeed News the company would investigation the claims that have been made:
Customer safety and satisfaction are paramount at NutriBullet. Reports of blenders, which have operated normally for years, suddenly turning cool ingredients into scalding hot mixtures after less than 20 seconds of normal operation are perplexing and contrary to the hundreds of millions of uses by satisfied NutriBullet customers worldwide.
We will investigate the claims thoroughly and analyze the blenders in question to determine exactly what happened. Whatever the circumstances surrounding these accidents, we wish prompt and complete recoveries to those involved.
Still, NutriBullet's corporate attoney Mark Suzomoto told FOX 11 the injuries are likely due to misuse and that the company is standing by their product.
Suzomoto said it is, in fact, possible for the contents of the NutriBullet to heat up as a result of friction, but said it was "physically impossible" for that to happen in 15 to 20 seconds as Cosso and Utal claimed.
The NutriBullet manual warns users against using it for longer than a minute at a time, though those warnings have changed over the years as more people reported "misusing" it, Suzomoto said.
Rochen pushed back on Suzomoto's explanation.
"NutriBullet has taken the position that it must be user error," Rochen said. "They are denying any responsibility for any of my client's injuries. They believe they are getting off by providing warnings in user manuals. Those warnings have changed over the course of the last several years to provide more information, but have not addressed the general safety concern involving this product."
"For a dollar a unit they could make these units safe, and they choose not to," Rochen said.
Julia Reinstein is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
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