Park yourself in front of the TV screen on any weekday afternoon, perhaps to catch-up on the status of your favorite daytime dramas and if you channel surf like I do you are very likely to run smack dab into an unavoidable onslaught of tediously boring 30-minute long product demonstration-style videos called infomercials, many of which are designed to promote a spiffy looking new mini-blender that threatens to make toast (or should I say puree) out of the “toughest ingredients” you can fit in its funnel.
By now I’m sure many our readers are familiar with a whole shopping cart full of these relentlessly advertised products. But just in case you’re one of the lucky ones with a full-time job and no access to a TV during work hours, the product of our interest for this installment of our firm’s New York Products Liability Lawyers blog, is what the manufacturer of the product describes as its new “Superfood Nutrition Extractor.” It’s called the NutriBullet Pro 900 Series.
While this product may live up to its hype when it comes to blending an excellent daiquiri, or a mean green gazpacho, when the experts at the estimable Consumer Reports (CR) magazine put the Nutri Bullet Pro through its rigorous durability test they said a blade on the machine cracked or broke on two separate units. (See CR’s September 2014 issue).
“A product is defective under New York law,” Jay Dankner, partner in the New York products liability law firm of Dankner Milstein, P.C. said, “if it is not reasonably safe for its intended or unintended, yet reasonable foreseeable, uses. This could be as a result of the product’s design, manufacture or even a lack of adequate warnings in or on the packaging.”
Based on the manufacturer’s advertised claims about the ruggedness and durability of the Nutri Bullet Pro, CR conducted a stress test in which the magazine’s experts crushed six large ice cubes 40 times to simulate rigorous use. According to the CR experts, “A blade on the machine cracked or broke on two separate units, and one of the Nutri Bullet’s second assemblies (each package includes two) also had a visible crack.” (It’s not clear from the report if the failure of the product was a result of a design or a manufacturing flaw).
“We are not aware of any injuries caused by this model,” the magazine said. “But because a blade fragment could hide in a beverage, posing a potential health hazard for users, we’ve judged it a DON’T BUY: SAFETY RISK.”
The magazine went on to say: “If you already own the product, we suggest you stop using it.”
Dankner Explains What To Do If You’re Injured By A Poorly Designed, Manufactured or Recalled Product
“First, secure the product,” Dankner advises. “Keep it in a safe place and do not remove or replace any of its component parts. Second, photograph the product from all angles, and especially identification plate, or the area that shows the manufacturer’s name, model serial number, etc. Third, if you still have the packaging it came in, save that as well. Fourth, maintain all inserts, instructions, owner’s manuals, warnings, etc. that came with the product. Fifth, keep proof of purchase, credit card receipts etc. showing where and when you bought it. Sixth, and most importantly, call a lawyer experienced in products liability litigation.
“If a user is injured by a defective product,” Dankner added, “it can be complicated to prove whether the injury was caused by a defect in the product, or a manufacturing mistake. Initial investigatory work, done as soon as possible, increases the chances of being able to prove a products liability case.
When our New York products liability law firm takes on a case like this,” he added, “our lawyers will carefully examine all of the manufacturer’s product literature including design plans and drawings. We also look at the testing that was done in the pre-marketing stage to see if reasonable care was exercised in the decision to approve the chosen design. We look for similar incidents and internal documents relating to complaints about the product to see if the manufacturer was on notice of potential hazards and dangers that could have been avoided by a change in design, manufacture, or even a warning. Our products liability lawyers compare the design to those of competitors in the field.”
Dankner explained that products liability cases can be complex. He advises that people who are injured by a defective product would be wise to seek the assistance of a law firm that is knowledgeable in handling these types of lawsuits as soon as possible.