Keurig Pays $5.8 Million Penalty for Covering Up Unsafe Product
Keurig Green Mountain, Inc.’s will pay a $5.8 million penalty as a result of its failure to report products that Keurig knew were unsafe and causing serious injuries to consumers nationwide.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), between 2010 and 2014, Keurig received hundreds of consumer complaints stating that its MINI Plus Brewing System coffee brewers were malfunctioning. When a brewer malfunctioned, coffee grounds, hot water and coffee sprayed out of the machines. In at least 100 instances, consumers suffered serious burns as a result of the defect.
Although Keurig was aware that its customers were at risk for suffering burns on their bodies, faces and hands, sometimes as serious as second and third-degree burns, the company failed to report any kind of issue to the CPSC. This prevented a nationwide recall from taking place for four years, allowing more consumers to be put at risk and sustain injuries. All the while, Keurig kept profiting off of its malfunctioning machines instead of recalling them.
Keurig did not evaluate the safety of its product after receiving consumer complaints. Instead, it continued to sell coffee brewers in Kmart, Walmart, Target, Kohl’s and other major retailers nationwide.
As a consequence of Keurig’s failure to report both the product malfunction as well as the serious risk of injury to consumers, as is mandated by federal law, the company has agreed to pay a $5.8 million penalty as well as implement a compliance program. The aim of the compliance program is to ensure that the company abides by the rules set forth by the Consumer Product Safety Act.
The Consumer Product Safety Act was enacted in 1972 by the CPSC. As a law, it regulates product safety standards and enforces product bans when safety is an issue. The act also gives the CPSC the authority to recall unsafe products or, in this case, require a civil penalty for a company’s illegal actions.
Because Keurig never reported its MINI Plus Brewing Systems to the CPSC, at least 100 consumers suffered injuries that could very well affect their quality of life or ability to work and earn wages. It is clear that if the company had reported its product that many consumers could have been spared second and third-degree burns resulting in medical treatment and expenses.
Unfortunately, Keurig is not alone in their quest to make a buck, regardless of the safety and health of their customers. Petsmart, Reebok, Fisher-Price and Mattel have all faced the same allegations, paid fines and been allowed to stay in business after putting people at risk, being aware of injuries inflicted and continuing to sell their dangerous products.
Hopefully, the CPSC will continue to monitor the behavior of companies, and enforce hefty penalties should companies continue to violate the law and place consumers at risk.
Philadelphia Products Liability Lawyers at Galfand Berger, LLP Pursue Compensation for Those Injured by Defective Products
If you or a loved one has been injured because of a dangerous of defective product, please call the knowledgeable Philadelphia product liability lawyers at Galfand Berger, LLP. With offices located in Philadelphia, Reading, Lancaster and Bethlehem, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. To schedule a consultation, call us at 800-222-8792 or complete our online contact form.
Posted in: Dangerous / Defective Equipment & Machinery, Personal Injury, Products Liability, Uncategorized