Brendan Cosso had been using his NutriBullet blender safely for years — right up to the moment when it exploded in his hands.Screenshot/Fox 11 News
As Fox 11 News reported, Cosso is one of the millions of people who bought the popular appliance, which is touted as a great way to make healthy smoothies and other foods. While making a breakfast drink, Cosso’s NutriBullet burst open, and nearly, “chopped [his] hand to pieces.” In the video below, he told Fox 11:
“I was making it, went to grab it, the container exploded off, and my hand went right into the blades.”
He added he’d been using the blender for only about 20 seconds when it exploded:
“The two blades basically chopped into my palm, still to this day, I can’t feel my finger. […] It was deep and the meat was kind of hanging out. I had to go get stitches.”
And Cosso isn’t the only one to have problems with an exploding NutriBullet.
Like Cosso, Sheryl Utal is suing the company. She alleges she was using the blender when it spewed scalding liquid all over her body, sending her into shock. She told Fox 11:
“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. 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, an attorney who has filed 22 lawsuits against NutriBullet from individuals across the nation who allege they were injured by the machine, in addition to representing Cosso and Utal, said the problem is a lack of safety features. He told Fox 11:
“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.”
He added the warnings in the NutriBullet manual (which have reportedly changed over time) have been insufficient:
“We represent one client whose dominant right hand was mutilated by the NutriBullet, she was making lunch for her husband, the unit, lid, vessel exploded, and it caused her hands to fall into the blade.”
Rosa Rivera was making chili in her NutriBullet when it exploded and caused second-degree burns to her neck and face.elgordoylaflaca/Instagram
Her attorney told the Miami Herald this had nothing to do with improper use:
“A lot of people think these machines are exploding because people are using hot liquids in the NutriBullets, but [Rivera] was working with room-temperature ingredients that got hot as the machine was running.”
However, a representative for NutriBullet disputes allegations the units exploded from pressure after just a few seconds of use. Mark Suzumoto, a NutriBullet corporate attorney, told Fox 11 it is, “physically impossible” for the machine to heat up contents to those temperatures in just a few seconds of use.
— NutriBullet (@thenutribullet) October 31, 2017
Suzumoto pointed to the NutriBullet user manual, which warns against using the device for longer than a minute and said the company stands by its product. He told Fox 11 the NutriBullet meets rigorous testing standards and suggested the complaints either misrepresent what happened or were caused by improper use of the machine:
“Any product can present a risk. Like driving without a seat belt. What’s alleged to have happened is physically impossible.”
In a statement to Fox 11 on behalf of NutriBullet, Suzumoto said:
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 or components unthreading during use, 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.
But Cosso and the others injured by the NutriBullet said they were following directions and using their blenders properly. They argued that a simple $1 part — a pressure-relief plug — would fix the problem. Cosso, who said he has permanent nerve damage as a result of the accident, told Fox 11:
“You can’t just allow something like this to be on the market without even caring or thinking about simple one dollar changes, fix it!”
However, NutriBullet said customers would complain about a plug that could lead to a liquid mess in their kitchen. The company continues to contest the lawsuits.
Watch a report below.