The manufacturer of the popular Keurig coffee brewers has agreed to pay a $5.8 million penalty after allegedly failing to report a defect, which caused more than 100 burn injuries. According to an NBC news report, Vermont-based Keurig Green Mountain recalled 6.6 million if its Keurig MINI Plus brewers in December 2014 after getting about 200 reports of water, coffee or coffee grounds overheating and spraying out of the device.
The incidents reportedly occurred between 2010 and 2014. Some of the individuals received second- and third-degree burns, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Two people reported facial scarring and one eye injury. A settlement filing states that Keurig failed to report the incidents to the CPSC as required by federal law. The settlement does not constitute an admission of guilt of the charges. But the company has agreed to a compliance program to ensure it complies with federal product safety law.
The Seriousness of Scalding Injuries
More than 500,000 scalding injuries occur each year in the United States. Hot liquids can cause life threatening burn injuries. In fact, scalds are the number one cause of burn injury to children under the age of 4.
Coffee, tea, soup and even hot tap water can be hot enough to cause serious burn injuries. For example, when tap water reaches 140º F, it can cause a third-degree burn in just five seconds. When hot coffee, water or coffee grounds spray out of a brewer without warning, the consequences can of course be devastating as witnessed in the incidents that were reported.
What Federal Consumer Safety Law Says
Manufacturers, importers, distributors and/or retailers of consumer products have a legal obligation to immediately report any defective products that could create a substantial risk of injury to consumers or a product that creates an unreasonable risk of serious injury or death. They must also report a product that fails to comply with consumer safety standards. Manufacturers are required to report incidents in which a child chokes on a product or product part and if the choking causes injury or death.
Protecting Your Rights
If a defective product has injured you or a loved one, you may be able to file a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer seeking compensation for your injuries, damages and losses. In order to prevail in such a lawsuit, plaintiffs must prove that they used the product as intended, that it was defective and the faulty product directly caused their injuries and damages. Victims can seek compensation for damages including medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization, permanent injuries such as scarring and disfigurement, pain and suffering and emotional distress.
Contact Demas Law Group P.C., at (916) 444-0100 to obtain more information about pursuing your legal rights.