Pressure Cooker Lawsuits

Pressure cooker explosions have led to several product liability lawsuits against related manufacturers in the United States. These accidents have caused eye injuries, permanent scars, and first to third degree burns. 

Manufacturers facing pressure cooker lawsuits include Tristar Power Pressure Cooker and Instant Pot.

Pressure Cooker Lawsuits

Pressure cooker explosions have led to several product liability lawsuits against related manufacturers in the United States. These accidents have caused eye injuries, permanent scars, and first to third degree burns. 

Manufacturers facing pressure cooker lawsuits include Tristar Power Pressure Cooker and Instant Pot.

What Are Pressure Cookers?

Pressure cookers use steam or water-based liquids to cook meals under pressure. They’re usually stovetop or electric cookers with locked-on lids.

As the cooker heats up, liquid boils, resulting in accumulated steam and increased pressure within the pot. The temperature in the pot also rises to about 250°F (40° higher than water’s boiling point). 

The initial designs of pressure cookers first hit the market around the 1600s. Stovetop pressure cookers also gained mainstream popularity around the 1950s. However, these devices were considered dangerous because of the hazards linked to cooking food under intense pressure. 

However, modern pressure cookers like the instant pot cookers, have made their way to the market recently, and manufacturers have marketed these products as safe and convenient. 

Some of these recent inventions can also function as egg cookers, slow cookers, and air fryers. 

Most manufacturers of these products claim that they consist of several safety elements that make them more full-proof than previous designs. 

Some of these features include anti-block pressure release valves that limit excessive pressure buildup and automatic-locking lids. 

However, despite the claims of product manufacturers, these devices are still unsafe, with consumers suffering injuries because of their defective designs and suing these companies as a result. 

Many of these pressure cooker lawsuits even claim that manufacturers exaggerated these products’ safety features. 

Popular Pressure Cooker Brands in America

Pressure cookers have grown increasingly famous as kitchen devices in America in the last decade. 

Some of the popular brands include:

  • Bella Cucina “Zip Cooker”
  • Crock Pot Express
  • Elite Bistro 8-Quart Electric Pressure
  • Nattork Pressure Cooker
  • ALDI Chef’s Collection Pressure Cooker
  • QVC Electric Pressure Cooker
  • Tabletops Unlimited (Philippe Richard)
  • Wolfgang Puck Pressure Cooker
  • Ultrex
  • Sunbeam Products
  • Prestige
  • Maxi-Matic Pressure Cooker
  • NuWave Nutri-Pot
  • Fagor America
  • Crofton
  • Cook’s Essentials
  • Power Pressure Cooker XL
  • Vasconia 

Dangers Associated With Using a Pressure Cooker

Typically, a pressure cooker fields the same pressure as a soda can. However, just as shaking a soda can and opening the top can cause the liquids to explode due to intense pressure, a pressure cooker can also have a similar burst of fluids. 

A pressure cooker, though, contains boiling liquids and steam. When an instant pot pressure cooker explodes, the lid goes off, and the high pressure causes the content to spray on the face of anyone close. This explosion can lead to severe burns and scalding injuries. 

That said, most pressure cooker injuries occurred when consumers lifted the lid when it was still unsafe to do so (when the pressure hadn’t reduced to a safe degree). 

However, some pressure cooker lawsuits claim that several of these cooking devices come with defective parts that did not safely secure the lid on the cooker or control the excessive pressure buildup. 

Plaintiffs claim that the lids of pressure cookers aren’t supposed to come off until the pressure and steam have reduced to a certain degree. 

According to the victims, some components that failed in these pressure cooker explosions include:

  • Lid Locks
  • Automatic Shut-Off Temperature Controls
  • Anti-Block Vents
  • Automated Pressure Control
  • Pressure Lowering Features

Why a Pressure Cooker Might Explode

Pressure cooker explosions typically result from three factors: 

  • A clogged vent and intense pressure that results in the lid opening too early 
  • A defective lock that leads to the cooker’s lid opening before the pressure reduces to a safe degree
  • An individual opening the lid when the pressure is still intense

Pressure Cookers With Defective Designs

Pressure cooker manufacturers have faced backlash in the last few years for cookers that featured defective designs and resulted in explosions or did not consist of safer elements that could’ve prevented an explosion. 

For example, in 2020, Crock Pot recalled about 1 million of its pressure cookers because of a pressure control defect in these products. According to reports, pressure in these cookers increased even while the lid was not securely locked. 

About 99 explosions and injuries occurred because of this defect. 

Besides Crock Pot’s 2020 recall, other pressure cooker manufacturers have recalled some of their products due to defects and made significant changes to their design. They’ve also asked consumers who still have these defective products in their homes to stop using them. 

The pressure cooker producers named in the product complaints in recent years in the US include: 

  • Philippe Richards
  • NuWave Nutri-Pot
  • Kalorik
  • Instant Pot
  • Sunbeam Crock
  • Prestige
  • Elite Bistro
  • Cuisinart
  • Tristar Power Pressure Cooker
  • Fagor
  • Mirro
  • Ginny’s
  • Ultrex
  • Cooks Essentials
  • Ninja Foodi
  • Bella Cucina

Pressure Cooker Recalls

The recent pressure cooker explosions and lawsuits have led to an increase in pressure cooker recalls in the US. Some products that have been at the receiving end of these recalls include:

  • Crofton Chef’s Collection Stainless Steel Pressure Cookers
  • Welbilt Electric Pressure Cookers (HSN)
  • Power Pressure Cooker XL
  • Breville Fast Slow Cookers
  • 3-Squares Tim3 Machin3 Cookers
  • Prestige Smartplus Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker
  • Rena Ware Nutrex Pressure Cookers
  • Alcan Pressure Cookers (Rochedo®)
  • QVC Pressure Cooker
  • Chef’s Collection 6L Pressure Cooker
  • HSN Ultrex Pressure Cookers
  • H&H Asia Limited — Crofton
  • Instant Pot
  • Manttra Pressure Cookers
  • Double Insight Multi-Cookers (Gem 65 8-in-1 Multicooker) – Walmart

Pressure Cooker Injuries and Burns

Pressure cooker explosions lead to the release of high-pressure, boiling steam within the cooker. This explosive release can lead to scalding burns to anyone close to the cooker. 

While scalds aren’t deep burns, they can affect large sections of the skin and are quite painful. Pressure cooker explosions also involve hot food particles clinging to the victim’s skin and clothes. 

These particles can cause second or third-degree burns which may require skin graft surgery. 

Furthermore, metal shrapnel from the explosion can result in cuts or could even blind the victim if they make contact with their eyes. 

Some injuries that may occur from pressure cooker explosions include:

  • Steam burns
  • Traumatic brain wounds from concussions
  • Scalds
  • Eye wounds or blindness
  • Amputation
  • Permanent scarring
  • Disfigurement

Pressure cooker explosions could also lead to property damage and death. 

Plaintiffs have linked several pressure cookers to these injuries, including: 

  • NuWave Nutri-Pot Pressure Cooker
  • Crock Pot Pressure Cooker
  • Bella Cucina “Zip Cooker”
  • Ninja Foodi
  • Tristar Power Pressure Cooker XL
  • Maxi-Matic Pressure Cooker
  • Instant-Pot
  • Philippe Richard Pressure Cooker

Pressure Cooker Lawsuits in the US

  1. Plaintiffs have filed pressure Cooker lawsuits against Tristar Power Pressure Cooker, Instant Pot, and other pressure cooker manufacturers linked to explosions and injuries in the US. Some of the products named in these lawsuits first hit the market in 2010. 

    In 2020, a Louisiana resident sued Instant Pot after she suffered second-degree burns from an Instant Pot pressure cooker explosion. 

    According to the victim, the cooker exploded after she opened the lid while cooking. 

    In 2018, Samantha Gonzalez, a 2-year-old victim of a pressure cooker explosion got a $2 million settlement in Florida. 

    According to the lawsuit, Samantha’s doctors had to amputate her leg after she suffered severe burns across more than half of her body in a pressure cooker explosion. 

    The incident occurred while her grandmother bathed the toddler in the sink in 2015. The cooker exploded and poured hot liquid and boiling steam on the child. 

    Samantha may also require further surgery and amputation of her arms. She’s suffering from a failing liver and kidneys due to her wounds, as well.  

    In Canyon County, CA, Bridget Lovino suffered severe burns from a Maxi-Matic Elite Bistro 8-Quart Electric Pressure Cooker explosion. Bridget and her husband, Gene Lovino, filed a lawsuit against the product’s manufacturer in 2015. 

    According to the product liability claim, Bridget suffered second and third-degree burns from the hot water from the explosion, even though she’d walked a few steps away from the cooker before the incident happened. 

    Tristar Products and Wolfgang Puck Pressure Cooker Lawsuits 

    Multiple plaintiffs have filed lawsuits against TriStar Products Inc. after explosions involving the company’s Power Pressure Cooker XL. According to the plaintiffs, the pressure cooker exploded after they unplugged it from wall sockets. 

    One of the explosions involved a Texas-based woman who purchased the cooker after watching a TV advert. After preparing her first meal with the cooker, she unplugged it, and two hours later, the lid came off in an explosion, and hot pinto beans sprayed onto her skin. 

    She was in the hospital for about 20 days with intense pain. The incident also resulted in permanent scars. 

    Another Florida resident filed a lawsuit against Tristar Products after a Power Pressure Cooker explosion in 2015.

    Wolfgang Puck is also at the receiving end of a lawsuit in the Illinois Federal Court by a Florida resident, Tabitha M., who suffered second and third-degree burns after her Wolfgang Puck Pressure Cooker exploded in 2017. 

Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Lawsuits

Elsie Wikerson and Michelle Havens are suing Instant Brands for deliberately selling Instant Pot Pressure Cookers with defective and dangerous lid-locking components.

They claim the components on the cookers’ lids cause them to open while consumers are using them according to instructions and contents are still under high pressure, causing explosions. 

The lawsuit also claims that several individuals have suffered from second and third-degree burns because of the defects and resulting explosions. Furthermore, the plaintiffs allege Instant Brands have been aware of these defects since 2016 but still markets its products as safe for use. 

Elsie Wikerson and Michelle Havens accuse Instant Brands of violating the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, California’s Consumer Legal Remedies Act, the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, and the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act. 

The Instant Pot cookers named in these lawsuits include Lux Series, Duo Crisp, Smart WiFi, IP Duo Series, Viva Series, Nova Plus, Max Series, Duo Plus Series, Ultra Series, and Duo Evo Plus. 

Wikerson and Havens will provide legal representation for the California and Florida class. 

The entity also seeks to do the same for a subclass of customers who have bought a Pressure Cooker from Instant Brands since 2017. 

They’re requesting a jury trial alongside injunctive and declaratory relief, special, punitive, general, actual, consequential, and incidental damages for all members of the class action. 

Sunbeam Products also faces a similar lawsuit over allegations of defects in its Crock-Pot Express Pressure Cookers. 

Pressure Cooker Explosions Outside the US

Besides the pressure cooker accidents in the US, there have also been several explosions involving pressure cookers in Australia, Spain, and Ireland. 

In Australia, Carizza Borderos suffered second-degree burns from a Breville Fast Slow Cooker explosion while cooking beef in 2016. The cooker sprayed hot water, fat, and beef across her body, resulting in scars across 10% of her skin. 

She spent five days at Cairns Base Hospital after the incident, and her doctors feared her wounds would be infected. Eventually, her doctors treated her with pain medication for about five weeks. 

She reported that she endured unbearable pain whenever she changed the dressings for her wound and got rid of the dead skin. 

She would later find out that Breville had recalled its Fast Slow Cooker in 2015 because of explosion risks. She didn’t receive a recall prompt despite submitting her address while purchasing the cooker in 2013. 

Pressure Cooker Explosions In Ireland and Spain

In Ireland, Rumer Priestly of Greyabbey almost got blind after a pressure cooker explosion left steam and hot soup on her face. According to her, the cooker exploded when she opened the vent to free some pressure and add extra ingredients. 

She reported that the incident had felt like having acid on her face. She claimed the accident would have led to permanent blindness if she wasn’t wearing her glasses during the incident. 

Her t-shirt choice also prevented her from having permanent chest scars. Her mother, who was in another room during the accident, brought her to a Belfast hospital. 

Begoña Muñiz García, a 36-year-old pregnant woman, died from a pressure cooker explosion while cooking a meal for her mother-in-law and husband in Spain. Her doctors claim that she died immediately due to head injuries from the incident. 

The explosion also damaged sections of her home, including her windows. Shards of glass from the kitchen windows were seen on the street below where they had fallen from the apartment’s fourth floor. 

Major Takeaway

If you’ve sustained injury due to pressure cooker usage in the US, endeavor to contact a product liability lawyer immediately. These attorneys, using essential pressure cooker lawsuit information, will do their bid to curate a rock-solid case for you.

Most of these attorneys operate on a contingency-fee basis, meaning you won’t have to spend a “dime” until you’ve won and received a fair settlement.

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