The coffeemaker spit hot water at consumers — but the company did not report this information immediately.
Keurig coffeemakers have become popular across the United States as a way for coffee drinkers to prepare a single serving of coffee quickly. Yet one of these popular coffeemakers caused injuries to consumers — and Keurig’s failure to report that information to the government in a timely fashion has resulted in a massive fine.
The problem began with the Keurig MINI Plus Brewing system. This smaller version of the full-sized Keurig could apparently overheat during the brewing cycle, causing water to spray out and hit the user. Keurig issued a recall notice in December 2014 for the MINI, stating that it had received notice of more than 200 incidents of spraying hot water. 90 of these incidents included people who had received burn injuries to their faces, hands and bodies. Some people received serious second and third degree burns that required medical treatment.
While it appears that Keurig did the responsible thing by recalling the coffeemaker, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) found that the company had actually started receiving these reports of spraying hot water as early as 2010. The company had accumulated the reports over a four year period of time, and rather than reporting the information to the CPSC, issuing a recall or fixing the product, Keurig did nothing — which may have resulted in even more consumer injuries. If Keurig had informed the CPSC sooner, these injuries may have been avoided.
Under federal law, manufacturers, distributors, and retailers are required to report information about potential safety defects in a product to the CPSC within 24 hours of obtaining “reasonable supporting evidence” about the defects. Keurig waited four years after receiving this evidence to make a report to the CPSC. For its failure to report, Keurig was fined $5.8 million, which is the second largest civil penalty ever assessed in the CPSC’s history. Particularly troubling to CPSC investigators was the fact that Keurig continued to manufacture, import, and promote the defective coffeemaker, knowing that its design was defective and that consumers had been injured by spraying hot water.
Defective products such as the Keurig MINI can cause serious injury, and in some cases, manufacturers, distributors, and retailers cannot be counted to recall products that have defects in their design. In those situations, consumers may be injured when using the products in the way that they are intended, leading to serious injury or even death. A products liability attorney can assist victims of defective or dangerous products recover for their losses in those cases.
At the Law Offices of Larry H. Parker, our attorneys help clients who have been hurt in all types of accidents, including those involving dangerously designed or manufactured products. We have a 95% success rate, and have been helping clients for more than 40 years. Our attorneys have recovered more than $2 billion dollars for our clients. We never charge a fee unless we recover money for you, and initial consultations are always free. Contact our office today at 800-333-0000 or firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an appointment and learn how we can help if you have been injured by a defective product.