Reuters is reporting that more than 1.7 million single-cup coffee makers manufactured by Tassimo plus another 4 million espresso coffee pads were recently recalled because dozens of customers reported that they were sprayed with hot liquid, causing major burn injuries.
Consumer protection laws are designed to help people who buy products that either don't work as advertised or cause potential injuries. People who invest their hard-earned money in products should be getting what they paid for.
Sometimes, as product liability attorneys have seen, companies attempt to cut corners in the materials they use, the testing they're supposed to do or the time they're supposed to take to craft a solid product. Instead, they rush things through just so they can get the product onto the shelves as quickly as possible.
According to Reuters, Tassimo, which manufactures their product in China and Slovenia, had to recall about 835,000 single-cup brewers in the United States and another 900,000 in Canada. About 4 million espresso pads were also recalled.
About 160 consumers so far have reported being injured by the machines, including a 10-year-old girl in Minnesota who was hospitalized with second-degree burns on her face and neck. A 2-year-old from Canada reportedly also has second-degree burns on her face because of the product.
The product debuted in 2008 and sold for between $100 and $250. Of the 160 people who so far have reported injuries, 37 reported second-degree burns. Customers are being warned to immediately stop using the models reported as dangerous by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
The commission reports that consumers can end up being sprayed with hot liquid, coffee grounds or tea leaves. This can injure users as well as bystanders. Second-degree burns are serious and can leave life-altering marks and scars.
The first recall related to the Tassimo machines themselves, while a separate recall dealt with espresso T Discs, which contain pre-packaged ground beans in their own filter. Kraft recalled 2.1 million packages in the United States and another 1.9 million north of the border.
These packages, made in the United States and involving brands such as Maxwell House, Nabob and Gevalia, were sold for between $8 and $11 from August to February. All of these products should not be used and consumers should contact the company for a full refund.
Regardless of the price of the product, it should work as advertised. And companies are required by law to warn consumers if they receive safety complaints. Hiding this information can lead to penalties and fines.
Consumers have a right to know if what they've purchased is defective. Consumers may be surprised at the number of goods that end up being recalled because of manufacturer errors or other problems. In some cases, a problem can simply make the product not work as it should.
But in some cases, a person can be severely injured if the product not only fails to work as advertised, but does so in a way that leads to burns, cuts or other risks of serious or fatal injury. These victims often need representation to make sure their hospital bills and other damages are covered.
The Ferraro Law Firm represents people injured by recalled or defective products throughout the country. Call 1-800-275-3332 for a free and confidential consultation. Offices in Miami, Washington, D.C., and New York City.
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Tassimo brewers and espresso pads recalled after burn injuries, by Barbara Goldberg, Reuters