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Cerrato v. Nutribullet, LLC

United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Tampa Division

November 7, 2017

PHYLLIS B. CERRATO and GERMAN CERRATO, Plaintiffs,
v.
NUTRIBULLET, LLC and CAPITAL BRANDS, LLC, Defendants.

          ORDER

          SUSAN C. BUCKLER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This cause comes before the Court on Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment. (Doc. No. 51). Plaintiffs oppose the motion. (Doc. No. 58). As explained below, the motion is denied.

         I. Standard of Review

         Summary judgment is appropriate “if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). The Court must draw all inferences from the evidence in the light most favorable to the non-movant and resolve all reasonable doubts in that party's favor. See Porter v. Ray, 461 F.3d 1315, 1320 (11th Cir. 2006)(citation omitted). The moving party bears the initial burden of showing the Court, by reference to materials on file, that there are no genuine issues of material fact that should be decided at trial. See id. (citation omitted). When a moving party has discharged its burden, the non-moving party must then go beyond the pleadings, and by its own affidavits, or by depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, designate specific facts showing there is a genuine issue for trial. See id. (citation omitted).

         II. Background

         Plaintiffs Phyllis and German Cerrato bought Defendants' Nutribullet Pro 900 blender on December 20, 2014. Once home, Mrs. Cerrato unboxed the blender in order to make a smoothie. She placed ingredients inside the blender cup, and turned the blender on. Once the ingredients reached her desired consistency, she attempted to turn the blender off, but she was unable to do so.

         The blender does not have an “on/off” switch. Instead, the blender consists of a cup that holds the ingredients to be blended, a lid that contains the blending blades, and a base that contains the motor. When the cup is twisted into the base, the motor turns on; when the cup is twisted off the base, the motor turns off.

         Because Mrs. Cerrato was unable to twist the cup off and stop the motor, she unplugged the blender to make it stop. She then waited approximately twenty minutes for it to cool down before trying to open it. When Mrs. Cerrato tried to open the lid, the contents inside the cup exploded, severely burning her and causing property damage to her kitchen.

         The directions that came with the blender provide the following information about how to blend items after putting ingredients into the blender cup and attaching the lid to the cup:

Press the vessel blade side-down onto the Power Base and extract for no longer than 1 minute. If more extraction is needed, wait 1 minute, then repeat the extraction process in 1 minute intervals up to 3 times as needed to achieve the desired consistency. If more than 3 1-minute extractions are needed, allow the power base to cool for 2-3 minutes after the third extraction before beginning the next round.

(Doc. No. 26-1, p. 4). The directions also contained a page titled, “IMPORTANT SAFEGUARDS AND CAUTIONARY INFORMATION, ” and it provided the following pertinent instructions:

• Never allow the motor to run for more than one minute at a time, as it can cause permanent damage to the motor. If the motor stops working, unplug the Power Base and let it cool for an hour before attempting to use it again. Your NUTRIBULLET has an internal thermal breaker that shuts off the unit when it overheats. . . .
• Never leave the NUTRIBULLET unattended while it is in use.

(Doc. No. 26-1, p. 2). Finally, the blender itself has the following warning printed directly on the motor base: “Do not operate continuously for more than ...


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