What the Heck Is the Vitamix Blender Settlement About?
People complained against the blenders sold by Vita-Mix Corporation, where the top seals of the blades in the blenders were defective. Tiny flecks of black polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) were mixed into the blended food and drink. Hence, a class action lawsuit was filed which concluded into a settlement agreement.
Details about the Vitamix Blender Class action Lawsuit
Lead plaintiff Vicki Linneman claimed that she and other consumers found that the Vitamix blenders deposited tiny bits of polytetrafluoroethylene, a Teflon-like substance, into the food and beverages mixed in the blender.
Linneman was later joined by Obadiah Ritchey and KMW Coffee LLC, which does business as Sidewinder Coffee and Tea.
There were no allegations that the PTFEs caused any harm to anyone who might’ve accidentally consumed them, nor did they pose any health or safety risk. Vitamix Corp even provided a report from an independent third-party lab that the PTFE flecks are harmless when consumed.
The plaintiffs also allege that the company engaged in a breach of express and implied warranties of merchantability, breach of contract, negligent design, engineering and manufacture, fraud and fraudulent concealment, unjust enrichment, and violation of the Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act.
According to the lawsuit, the blenders are high-end, amounting to $400 to $700. The plaintiffs claimed that the makers of Vitamix blenders concealed the defect, completing the blender’s design, ultimately pushing the cost to an outrageous amount while breaching express warranties and contracts.
Details about the Vitamix Blender Settlement
A postcard notice was sent via direct mail or email, and potential class members were then informed that they may be class members for the lawsuit. They were informed of the benefits they will receive from the settlement.
Eligible class members were informed about the lawsuit, the settlement agreement, their legal rights, the benefits that they’ll receive, their eligibility, as well as how to get them.
The court did not favor the defendant or the plaintiffs, but both sides made an agreement to settle.
Both sides avoided longer litigation, which also includes the substantial cost of engaging in a lawsuit longer than it should be. Not to mention the trial and appeals that the case had to go through. The class settlement is in the best interest of both parties.
If in case a potential class member did not receive the notice, there were still instructions they could have looked at by calling the settlement administrator toll-free at 1-855-233-4747 or by downloading a form by clicking this link.
For class members to be eligible for the settlement, they have to have:
- a Vitamix household blender that has a blade assembly with a date on or after January 1, 2007, until October 1, 2016
- a Vitamix commercial blender that was bought through a third party (like a dealer, distributor, or restaurant supply store as long as it was not bought directly from Vitamix on or after September 15, 2015, but before August 9, 2016, or before April 7, 2017, if the commercial blender was from the XL product line.
The blade assembly date is on the bottom of the blender container.
If there are questions, people can call the settlement administrator toll-free at 1-855-233-4747, or they can visit the settlement website at www.BlenderSettlement.com/documents for more details.
What Are the Settlement Benefits?
Eligible class members must submit a valid claim form on time so they can get benefits based on their circumstances.
- They will be able to choose between a gift card that they can let others use or a replacement blade assembly that does not fleck.
- If the class member has multiple blenders, they can choose between a transferable gift card or having a replacement blade assembly installed, which does not fleck.
- If the class member has over one Vitamix commercial blender, they can get a new replacement blade assembly from the company, up to a maximum of two replacement blade assemblies.
How to Get the Gift Card or Replacement Blade Assembly
Class members eligible for the benefits needed to send in a claim form to qualify.
They could have submitted the form through:
- Settlement website https://secure.jndla.com/lonline-forms/vit, no later than 11:59 PM MST on September 28, 2018
- Attached the postcard notice to the claim form, or printed a hard copy of the claim form and mailed it to Vitamix Settlement Administrator c/o JND Legal Administration P.O. Box 7028 Broomfield, CO 80021 with a postmark no later than September 28, 2018
The claim form needed to be filled out completely and should have met the requirements of a valid claim form that was set in the settlement agreement.
For eligible class members who chose to receive a replacement blade assembly could have gotten a standard ground shipping box and prepaid packing slip from the settlement administrator to return the faulty Vitamix container. They must prove that they experienced or were concerned about the black flecks and that they did not get a replacement container or blade assembly.
Vitamix then had the blade assemblies on the containers replaced with a newly designed blade that does not fleck. They also send the containers back to the class members.
What Was Needed To Be Done To Get Out of the Settlement
For class members who felt that the settlement is less than the damages or injuries they received, they had the option of getting out of the settlement to file another lawsuit against the company on their own.
If they decided not to get out of the settlement, they agreed to the settlement offered by the defendant. This also means they are letting go of their right to sue the company for further damages.
Class members who liked to get out of the settlement needed to download an opt-out form at www.blendersettlement.com/documents, and mail it to Vitamix Settlement Administrator c/o JND Legal Administration P.O. Box 7028 Broomfield, CO 80021.
They could have also sent a letter that says, “I want to be excluded from the Settlement Class in Linneman, et al. v. Vita-Mix Corporation, et al., Case No. 1:15-cv-748,” to Vitamix Settlement Administrator c/o JND Legal Administration P.O. Box 7028 Broomfield, CO 80021.
If a class member didn’t submit a claim form or a request to be excluded from the class had the option to object to the proposed settlement, or if there’s a motion from the class counsel for an award of attorney’s fees and reimbursement of litigation expenses.
To object to a settlement, it had to be in writing, and people needed to give their reasons on why the court should not approve the proposed settlement.
The court considered all the views of the ones who objected to the settlement before deciding. For any objections to be included in the consideration, they or their attorney had to mail in the written objection to the following:
- class counsel
- Vita-Mix’s counsel
- settlement administrator
The written objection must include:
- the full name, address, telephone number, and email address of the objector
- the serial number/s for the objector’s blender/s
- a written statement of all the reasons for the objection along with any legal support
- copies of any papers, briefs, or other documents that are related to the objection
- a list of all the civil actions in which they or their counsel had filed or in any way taken part in, financially or otherwise, objecting to a class action settlement in the past five years
- the name, address, email address, and telephone number of all attorneys representing the objector
- a statement showing whether the objector or the objector’s counsel intends to appear at the Fairness Hearing
- a list of all persons, if there’s any, who will be called to testify to support the objection
- the objector’s signature
If any of the class members did not make any objections as specified, it should mean that they have waived any right they have to put forth any objection and will not be allowed to make any objections to the settlement agreement, either by appeal, collateral proceeding or otherwise.
Editor’s Note on Vitamix Blender Settlement:
This article is an old settlement case concerning the class action filed against Vita-Mix corporation over their faulty blenders. You might also be interested in Electrolux Ice Maker Settlement.
Case Name: Linneman v. Vita-Mix Corp., et al.
Case No.: 1:15-cv-00748-SJD, November 2015
Product/Service: Vitamix Blenders
Allegations: Failure to mention that tiny shards of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) are being added to the mixed food and beverages.
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