EXCLUSIVE – ‘It looked like a crime scene’: NutriBullet victim, 28, speaks out against the blender that left her with deep lacerations after it exploded while she made a slushie – as dozens more file lawsuits
WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT
- NutriBullet owners have sued the company after being left with second and third-degree burns and severe lacerations
- Twenty-two victims are claiming the blades caused the contents to heat and pressure to built resulting in the blender exploding
- EXCLUSIVE: New York actress Kourtni Beebe, 28, told Daily Mail Online she’s had six surgeries to repair the injuries to her hands costing $400,000 and now suffers permanent nerve damage
- NutriBullet denies the claims saying it is ‘physically impossible’ for the device to explode after only in use for a few seconds as the victims claim
Two dozen NutriBullet owners across the US have been left with severe burns and deep lacerations after the blender exploded in their hands.
The victims claim the NutriBullet’s quick-spinning blades cause the contents to heat up and pressure to build until the container burst.
One of the victims, actress Kourtni Beebe, 28, told Daily Mail Online she has undergone six surgeries to reconstruct fingers on both hands that have been left with permanent nerve damage after they were forced into the powerful blades while she tried to make slushies at her friend’s apartment.
Other users suffered second and third-degree burns on their hands, chest and face.
Now at least 22 people from around the country have come forward to sue the company who is denying the claims and citing improper use by the costumers.
NutriBullets come in different models ranging from $69 to $150 with different wattages and rotations per minute. An older NutriBullet 600’s blade spins at 20,000 whereas the highest powered NutriBullet RX spins at 30,000 rpm.
Kourtni claims she sustained ‘life-changing’ injuries two years ago when she was using her friend’s NutriBullet 900 to make slushies at an apartment in New York.
‘I had both of my hands on top and when I pressed down the cup immediately blew off to the side,’ Kourtni told Daily Mail Online.
As the container flew off, the blades continued to spin at about 25,000 rotations per minute, severely slashing through her thumb on her left hand and pinky and wrist on her right.
‘There was blood all over the ceiling and walls. It looked like a crime scene,’ she said.
It has taken six surgeries, including three skin graphs, and $400,000 in medical bills to repair Kourtni’s hands, but still she is left with permanent nerve damage and scarring.
She said she almost lost half of her thumb and her entire pinky which are now completely numb or extremely sensitive, especially in the colder months.
As an actress, she is forced to wear band-aids to work in order to cover her thumb that she said is ‘disfigured for life’.
‘I have to go about things very differently now,’ she adds.
The NutriBullet gained popularity as the trend of juicing and liquid diets rose.
The blender launched in 2003 and sold 14 million units from 2012 to mid-2015 and continues to sell. The device has also been endorsed by celebrities including comedian Steve Carrell, actress Vanessa Hudgens and supermodel Miranda Kerr.
And research has shown that blending with NutriBullet prevents blood sugar levels from rising, which can prevent health conditions including diabetes.
The company is marketed as ‘the world’s first nutrient extractor’ and dubs itself as ‘a health revolution that has transformed millions of lives,’ due to its compact size and easy assembly.
But now the lawsuit claims the trendy blender’s easy assembly feature has led to catastrophic damage some customers.
And though NutriBullet’s manual warns not to keep the blade spinning for more than one minute, the customers in the lawsuit claim that the machine was in use for just 15 to 20 seconds before it exploded.
In Kourtni’s case, she claims it happened as soon as she turned the blender on.
But the company is pushing back on the claims.
In a statement, NutriBullet said: ‘Reports of our blenders causing injury are extremely rare. We typically find customers have failed to adhere to the operating instructions and warnings provided.’
Doug Rochen of ACTS Law firm in California is representing the 22 victims around the US that have filed lawsuits against NutriBullet.
He told Daily Mail Online: ‘The injuries are all severe in that they were preventable.
‘The injuries suffered fall into two categories – either fairly significant lacerations or second degree burns on people’s body, and a few have suffered both.’
The most recent person to seek ACTS law firm’s representation is the mother of Latina superstar Jenni Rivera.
Rosa Rivera said her NutriBullet 600 Deluxe exploded in her hands last week, causing second and third-degree burns to her head, face and neck.
Another woman in California also represented by ACTS said the heated contents in the canister caused her ‘nasty burns’.
‘This product really has no safety features at all,’ Rochen said.
His firm even conducted a test that demonstrated the blender exploding under pressure in a video.
Mark Suzomoto, a corporate attorney for NutriBullet, told FOX 11 that the blender can heat up due to friction, but said it is ‘physically impossible’ for it to heat enough to burst after just 15 to 20 seconds of use.
But to that Rochen said: ‘It’s hard to believe that there were this many people that used the blender in error that resulted in this catastrophic loss.’
He also says that his firm is not the only one representing victims and there are many more out there who have filed a suit against the company.
The law firm suggests that a simple fix would be the addition of an on and off switch.
‘For a dollar a unit they could make these units safe, and they choose not to,’ Rochen said.
Each lawsuit will be tried individually and the first trial is set for February 2018 in Los Angeles Federal Court.