There’s Danger Brewing in the Kitchen

December 20, 2017 / Product Injury

Most of us wouldn’t think twice about whether our coffeemakers are unsafe, but surprising developments have come to light about two companies. Keurig Green Mountain, which sells machines that make coffee for you in seconds, has landed in hot water twice. In the most recent case, an insurance corporation is suing Keurig because of a house fire. In the second instance involving 7 million recalled coffeemakers, Keurig must pay $5.8 million because the company delayed recalling the K10 model, which was responsible for seriously burning 90 people. Finally, there was a decision in a Black & Decker coffeemaker carafe case.

Liberty Mutual vs. Keurig Green Mountain

A fire supposedly caused by a Keurig K70 machine at an Upton, Massachusetts, home caused $100,000 worth of damage. While the home’s insurer, Liberty Mutual, paid the claim, it believes that Keurig’s K70 machine is unsafe, stating, “The coffee maker was defective and unreasonably dangerous and therefore not fit for intended use.” The suit was filed in April, 2017.

In 2015, Oregon fire officials suspected a Keurig machine of sparking a fire that destroyed an apartment. The company disputes that their machine caused the fire, claiming a forensics expert determined that the machine was not at fault.

It is important to note that, although no injuries occurred in either the Massachusetts or the Oregon fire, they could have. A home fire is one of the most dangerous situations you can experience. People could have been hurt or killed.

The K70 model has been discontinued but has not been recalled as of this writing.

Second-Largest Civil Penalty in CPSC History

Keurig agreed to a $5.8 million penalty—the second largest in the history of the Consumer Products Safety Division (CPSC)—in February, 2017. The company delayed recalling the K10 coffeemaker and sold the defective machines through “Black Friday,” allegedly to reap more profits by selling coffeemakers the company knew were faulty. Keurig notified the CPSC on November 25, 2014, but continued importing the machines for sale until December 2.

The CPSC requires companies to report potential safety defects to them within 24 hours of receiving “reasonable” supporting evidence. Keurig collected reports from more than 200 people about spewing hot water, along with reports of second and third-degree burns, for four years while continuing to sell the K10.

The CPSC also decided that Keurig “reaped hundreds of millions of dollars in sales of these dangerous products,” concluding that “it is safe to say Keurig gained substantially from its failure to report.”

Black & Decker SpaceMaker Carafe Problems

Injuries from coffeemakers aren’t limited to Keurig. In an October, 2017, decision, a U.S. District Court judge ordered Spectrum Brands to pay $1.9 million because they waited to report defective coffee carafes, specifically the Black & Decker SpaceMaker Carafe. Among the carafes sold between 2008 and 2013, there were over 1,600 reports of handles that broke, resulting in burns or cuts from broken glass to 83 people. Spectrum was also cited because it continued to sell the carafes after they were recalled, and because the company’s recall policy was not in compliance with federal rules.

If you are using a Black & Decker SpaceMaker coffee system, contact Applica Consumer Products for guidance.

Recall Information about the Keurig K10

If you are concerned that you may have a defective K10 but never received a recall notice, inspect the K10 Mini PLUS Brewing System Machine’s underside. Note the number on the white barcode sticker, and then check the number against the list on the CPSC website.

All recalled K10 machines were sold at major retailers from November 2009 through July 2014. If you have a recalled machine, contact Keurig for a free repair.

When others breach their duty, we keep ours.

When we are injured by a defective product, we need to investigate the causes and make things right. If you or a family member has been injured by a product, and you believe that negligence is involved, speak with an experienced Indiana personal injury lawyer like Mike Stephenson.

Lawyer Mike Stephenson is a Martindale-Hubbell AV-rated attorney, the highest possible attorney peer rating. You can have complete confidence in Mike because you are talking with an attorney who has more than 30 years’ experience, offering his clients compassionate and successful representation. Keep in mind that there is a statute of limitations – or a deadline – for filing personal injury claims, so it is unwise to delay. Don’t lose the opportunity to obtain the money you need to put your family’s life back on track and to make their future financially secure. Call Mike at 1-317-825-5200 or contact us for immediate help. At Stephenson Rife, we believe justice matters.

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