Santa Cruz: A settlement has been reached in a defective products class action lawsuit pending against Vitamix. The lawsuit, styled Vicki Linneman, et al. v. Vita-Mix Corp., et al., Case No. 1:15-cv-748, pending in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, alleged that the top seal of blade assemblies in certain Vitamix containers may fleck, causing black flecks to enter food or drink during blending. These flecks are of a non-stick material (polytetrafluoroethylene or "PTFE") that is common in cookware and many other products in the food industry.
As a result of this alleged defect, the plaintiffs claim that the Vitamix blenders are worth less than what consumers and businesses paid to purchase them. No allegations of personal injury were made in the lawsuit.
Eligible Class members are defined as those who: (a) own a Vitamix household blender with a blade assembly dated on or after January 1, 2007 but before October 1, 2016; or (b) own a Vitamix commercial blender that was (i) purchased on or after September 15, 2015 but before August 9, 2016 or before April 7, 2017 in the case of a commercial blender from the XL product line, (ii) never used in connection with the Replacement Seal, and (iii) purchased through a third- party, such as a dealer, distributor, or restaurant supply store and not acquired directly from Vitamix.
According to the terms of the agreed settlement, Class Members who timely submit a Valid Claim are eligible for certain benefits depending on whether they purchased a household or commercial Vitamix blender. Class Members who own a Vitamix household blender may choose between (1) a $70 gift card to purchase certain Vitamix products; or (2) a newly designed replacement blade assembly that does not produce flecks. Owners of one or more Vitamix commercial blenders submitting Valid Claims can receive a new replacement blade assembly from Vitamix, with a maximum of two blade assemblies.
Vitamix has also agreed to pay court-approved Service Awards of $3,000 each to the two Named Plaintiffs as well as legal and administrative fees and court costs.
To receive any settlement benefits, valid Claim Form must be submitted on or before September 28, 2018. A final settlement hearing is scheduled for March 2018.