TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Her web page shows the Joy Mangano My Little Steamer is, well, a joy to use. It’s light, easy and steams away those wrinkles.
The product was developed by Mangano’s Ingenious Designs, LLC., which was later purchased by the Home Shopping Network.
My Little Steamer is advertised as America’s favorite non-iron. The advertisements make no mention of multiple lawsuits filed around the country claiming the product is dangerous and defective.
Complaints from customers, as well as former Home Shopping Network employees, claim hot steam and boiling water repeatedly leaked and spewed from the steamers burning those using them.
Stella Rue, a freshman at the University of California Berkeley, bought a My Little Steamer last August.
“It spurted a lot of water and I reacted and it just, it poured all over my leg and immediately it was so painful. It started blistering right away, it was red and it hurt so badly,” remembered Stella.
Photos provided to 8 On Your Side show a large burn on Stella’s leg.
Something similar happened to 69-year-old Patricia Schere of Kansas.
“It just blasted,” Patricia said, describing steam erupting from her My Little Steamer. “I screamed when it happened.”
Spewing boiling water left Patricia with second-degree burns on her foot and ankle.
“It was this huge huge blister,” Patricia explained. “I have a high threshold of pain because I’ve had Stage 3 cancer twice. And I didn’t have pain like that when I had all the treatments with cancer.”
Amelia Lopez’ mom alerted the Consumer Product Safety Commission about an incidentinvolving the 2-year-old back in 2014.
According to the government web page, she set her My Little Steamer on the kitchen a good 3 feet away from where she was washing Amelia’s feet. She told the CPSC the steamer erupted, scalding Amelia’s leg.
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Cynthia Vasquez of Mission Viejo, California also suffered severe burns after she used My Little Steamer. Cynthia is part of a class-action lawsuit naming Ingenious Designs as the defendant.
The complaint states, “The class-action lawsuit seeks redress for Defendants, sale and distribution of a dangerous product which was exclusively known to Defendant and not disclosed to consumers.”
“What we’re alleging is that consumers have purchased this product which is not safe or fit for its intended purpose,” said Vasquez’s attorney, Christa Collins of Tampa.
The lawsuit contains eight pages of exhibits – complaints from customers about the product leaking and spewing boiling water.
“People have contacted us with third-degree burns, second-degree burns,” Collins explained. “I’ve seen no warning that put people on notice that the product can unexpectedly and spontaneously spew water out of the head and burn them.”
The class-action lawsuit states Mangano’s company, Ingenious Designs, learned of the dangerous and defective nature of My Little Steamer as early as July 2013.
“You only really have to go to the Home Shopping Network’s website to see that consumers have been explaining their stories with the product, the problems they’re having with the product. And they’ve been doing that for years,” Collins added.
HSN is now owned by the Qurate Retail Group, which also owns QVC.
“We do not comment on matters which are the subject of pending litigation,” Qurate Retail Group Senior Manager of Corporate Affairs Ilana McCabe stated in an email.
According to the lawsuit, “During the taping of a video (in Tampa) to promote and sell the steamer on the Home Shopping Network, hot steam and boiling water repeatedly leaked and spewed from the steamers, burning HSN employees and professional models featured in the videos.”
It goes on to say,” The producer sent email communications to senior management at HSN and Ingenious Designs to notify both companies the products were dangerous and should not be sold to consumers.”
Despite the warning, the lawsuit says the HSN continued selling the product.
Stella Rue wishes she got a warning.
“I would’ve never ever touched it,” Stella explained. “When I look at old photos, you know, I wish I would’ve never touched that steamer. It just left a really, really ugly scar.”
For Stella Rue and others, My Little Steamer is no joy.
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