Wal-Mart sued over food processor malfunction

Kelly Holleran Aug. 3, 2011, 3:19pm

A Madison County woman claims she sustained severe injuries to her right hand after a food processor malfunctioned, causing its blades to rotate while her hands were still inside the machine.

Sandra Hambrick claims she was preparing a resident's food at her workplace at Challenge Unlimited on Dec. 8. To fix the meal, Hambrick was utilizing a GE-branded digital 14-cup food processor purchased from Wal-Mart, according to the complaint filed July 28 in Madison County Circuit Court.

"The cutting blade began to rotate when the plaintiff was putting it into place with the lid off causing her to receive severe injuries to her right hand," the suit states.

Because of the incident, Hambrick lost strength in her right hand, suffered nerve damage and experienced severe pain, disability and disfigurement, the complaint says. In addition, she claims she lost wages, her earning capacity and her normal life.

Following the occurrence, Wal-Mart recalled the GE food processor on May 25, stating that the safety lock on the food processor has the potential to fail and noting 24 incidents of the food processor operating without the safety of the lid, according to the complaint.

Hambrick alleges strict product liability and negligence against the defendants, saying they failed to design the machine so that its blades would stay stationary when the lid was disconnected, failed to design an interlock to stop operation of the blades when the lid was not in place and allowed the slicer knife to operate when exposed to the air.

In her two-count complaint, Hambrick seeks a judgment of more than $100,000, plus costs.

Eric J. Carlson of Byron, Carlson, Petri and Kalb in Edwardsville will be representing her.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 11-L-738.

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