Newspaper, Second degree burns and the Flu…


Alright…I have been meaning to blog about a LOT of things here in the last few weeks yet, despite January’s kick off at the Ritz Carlton it ended with a lot of gauze, Kleenex and ibuprofen.

Mid-month I was interviewed for Lynchburg’s News and Advance (http://www2.newsadvance.com/lifestyles/2011/jan/28/local-artist-follows-musical-dream-ar-805704/).  My EP release was in November and I had contacted them to run the story of this musical journey.  I finally heard back last month and set up the interview.  They attended my show on the 17th, a performance I mustered through having caught whatever vicious cold was running through this city.

It had been a week before that show I discovered I was allergic to a number of things.  It wasn’t unexpected that I ended up sick, as my system was in a massive detox, so it was the night before my show and I was working to thwart what felt like a sore throat.  Massive amounts of green tea have always helped, so I took my recently purchased KitchenAid kettle and filled it to the “fill line” in hopes of a few cups of tea while I nursed myself out of this cold.

What happened next was like watching 30 seconds in slow motion.  I picked up the kettle, and flipped the spouts lid, eyes the spout with cup (like you would do without thinking at this point) and began to pour.  My mouth dropped as I watched the water hiccup out of the spout completely missing the mug and cascading down the back of my hand and onto the stove top.  Torn between wanting to figure out how that even happened and the blinding pain now shooting from the back of my left hand, I dropped the kettle and the mug, ran to the sink and started running cold water on it.  Standing there, I looked at my hand fearing the absolute worst…third degree burn.  I knew it needed to stay cold, but fI had NO clue what to do next.  I’ve never burned anything that didn’t have to do with sun exposure.

What followed, I can honestly say, was the most painful 7 hours of my life.  Every 10 minutes, it felt like boiling hot water was running over my hand again, and I was in the bathroom running cold water over my hand and re-wetting the cloth I had it wrapped in.  I saw a pharmacist at Walgreens, because true to US medicare, it would have cost a small fortune to go to the ER so I asked the pharmacist if he thought it was necessary and they gave me direction as to how to handle the burn for the coming weeks.  He was honest with me, and said it would get worse before it got better and would likely take weeks to heal.

Then I promptly got the flu.

Makes sense, body was detoxing, fighting a cold already, and now a burned hand…so my friend who had the best intentions the night of the burn, unintentionally passed on the flu she’d been battling that week.  I had a show the next night.  It was advertised in the paper and people had reserved diner tables to see me play…the show must go on!  That Saturday night, I played with a burned left hand, a fever, and a sore throat to an audience who only heard something wonderful – to my surprise.

A week later, one more show after, my hand has never looked worse.  I have tried three other times to fill the kettle to the “full line” and repeatedly the same thing happened – it exploded over the cup.  I have had a number of people suggest suing this corporation for creating a product that has the potential to cause severe burns; especially on the coat tails of lawsuits like McDonald’s…

Is that unreasonable?

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10 thoughts on “Newspaper, Second degree burns and the Flu…

  1. Professor Peckham (as I know you…lol):

    I was a student in one of your classes at Liberty U. Oh my GOODNESS!! I could not believe what I saw in the pictures. Uh yea I think something should be done to compensate your suffering on the company’s behalf. I cannot imagine the pain from a burn so bad. Geez, I’m used to the regular small burns on accident from an iron or stove from cooking that are still irritating for even a few hours. If you are not certain about suing, then what about contacting them to explain what happened AND send the pictures! If you do not like the response, then reconsider legal actions. Please take care and I hope you are feeling better! God Bless!!!

  2. Ok read it and here are my thoughts…
    1. did the tea kettle come with some sort of warning about the fill line and “burping” situations? If it did, you are probably out of luck.

    2. (because I am a lawyer… lol) I think you might only have a case if the product was faulty, and I am not sure how you would determine if the product was faulty. Yeah, you could say that the water spilled on your hand because it burped out water, but they could say that you might have been drunk and poured it on your hand (not that you are a drunk tea drinker…LOL). If you can prove that the tea kettle was faulty then I think it would go better for you. The argument would be to prove that the dynamics of “the pour” warrant a “faulty” kettle? That might get tough to do. Additionally, you might need to prove that the product was not doing as it was intended to do… Did you ever read the McDonald’s coffee case? The whole reason why McD’s was at fault was because on average their coffee was 20 degree hotter than other places coffees. They were out of the norm. If your kettle was out of the norm, maybe you would be on to something.

    3. If Kitchen Aid wanted to be a thoughful organization then they would most likely hear your claim and want to do something, but if they did they might be admitting guilt by doing so, even if it was a random occurance. The lawsuit floodgates would be opened for them so legally they might be in a tough spot.

    Have you tried calling them about your problem? It would probably look better too before you had a lawyer contact them. That way they were informed about the problem and if they choose to do nothing then they are the “bad” guys. Who knows maybe they will be caring product makers 🙂

    I mean I can understand your situation, but it might not be worth your while to persue. If it is happening to every single person that purchased the same type of kettle it probably would, but who knows if it is… But definitely contact them to let them know about the problem… if they are a company that cares about their customers they should be willing to talk with you.

    You might also want to consider how people might treat you too… I know this sounds sooo bad, but look at the McDonald’s lady… everyone thinks that she was the dumbest person in the world and she was rewarded for her stupidity, when in all actuality initially she only wanted McD’s to comp her for her medical bills and lower the temp of their coffee. I would hate for people to think that you were just money grubbing because of the whole situation 😦 Not everyone will take the time to hear all of your story before they start making assumptions.

    However, I can also see how you would be taking a stand against a faulty product, so I don’t know what you should do. But I do know that you will do the right thing because you want to do what is right 🙂

    However, writing all this makes me want to go to law school… can you do that with a baby? LOL, and sigh! Love you Renee!

    • Ashley,

      I love that you are my legal aid! 🙂

      Okay, from what I know…

      1. No, there was no warning with the product.
      2. I have repeated the same situation five different times, once when a friend to come over, it “burps” every time so I think “faulty” could be proven.
      3. I am going to contact them too, that’s the whole call the lawyer thing – see what the next best step is. They will probably resolve it with me, but if they don’t I want to know what my other options are BEFORE I call them (Knowledge is power 😉 ).
      4. YES you can go to law school with a baby – I’ll go with you 😉 Just let me finish this PhD! lol
      5. I will make sure that I handle this the best way possible…but I will never be able to control what people “think” so I won’t worry about that too much 🙂 As long as the people I love know better, that’s all I care about!

      • Ahhh I love you Renee! Law school it is!

        It sounds like you have your ducks in a line 🙂 I hope the meeting with the lawyer turns out well. Hopefully the organization will just pay for your medical stuff and settle. Keep me posted!

      • I miss you Ashley!!! lol I’ll let you know what the verdict is! I am hoping they’ll pay for all the medical too – AND take it off the market, that tea kettle is a HAZARD!!!!

  3. Pingback: Black Ice, 6lb Yorkie, and a Sprained/Fractured Shoulder… « Canamgirl's Blog

  4. How does your hand look now? I experienced the exact same thing! My hand looks even a bit worse now, a week after, than yours on the second pic

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