Can you picture a simple cooking vessel producing permanent and disfiguring injuries? Undoubtedly, they can.

Two Nebraskan women filed individual defective pressure cooker lawsuits in October and November 2022 for injuries caused by pressure cooker explosions.

Dawn Clary from Bellevue filed a lawsuit against Tristar Products Inc. After purchasing Tristar’s Power Quick Pot, model Y6D-36, in 2020, she used that following the directions for approximately four months.

On July 17, 2022, while cooking dinner for her family, the cooker beeped to indicate that it was finished. While she was waiting for the steam to settle, the pressure cooker exploded, splattering boiling hot food all over her face and body.

She had second and third-degree burns and was treated at the Nebraska Medicine ER. Her product liability complaint claimed that the pressure cooker had a faulty construction that caused the lid to pop off under high pressure. Under damages, she requested $6,600 in medical bills and $143,000 in lost wages.

Michelle Lieb, another Gibbon resident, purchased a Ninja electric pressure cooker, model OP300. On August 15, 2022, when she tried to lift the lid once the pressure had settled, it exploded the hot and steamy contents upon her arm, wrist, and belly. Even when the pressure in the cooker was quite high, the lid could be easily removed.

Her instapot explosion lawsuit claimed that it had a design flaw that caused it to open even when there was pressure within. Ms. Lieb requested around $75,000 in damages for her medical expenditures and pain and suffering.

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According to 2019 market and customer data, electric pressure cooker retail sales exceeded $50 million. Despite the fact that many safety features are built-in, pressure cookers may occasionally explode. Women are particularly vulnerable to pressure cooker injuries because the kitchen is their domain.

Modern and much more advanced electrical pressure cookers can be handled easily and have more advanced features ensuring safety. Even then, they explode. What might be the cause? Let’s dig through the causes and injuries of pressure cooker explosions and the steaming pressure cooker injury lawsuits here.

How does a Pressure Cooker Work?

Modern electrical pressure cookers cut short the women’s time in the kitchen by half. Womenfolk feel grateful to physicist Denis Papin for saving them from toiling in the kitchen for a long. He was the one who invented the first pressure cooker Papin’s Digester, in 1679, which increased the boiling point of the water considerably to cook food faster. It is astonishing to know that this invention had sown the seeds for the invention of the steam engine.

Pressure cookers are designed to capture hot air from boiling water in order to build up pressure inside the pots and cook meals faster than traditional techniques. Since they cook the food faster, they are known as “instant pots”. When the lids are sealed, the temperatures can go high up to 130° C (266° F), and cooks the food in no time.

This incredible invention can save more than half of the cooking time, and as they prevent steam from escaping, the nutrients can also be retained in the food. In the modern era, where we don’t have much time to spare for cooking, pressure cookers are a boon, especially for working women.

However, no creation is absolutely free of peril. This time-saver can sometimes become a life spoiler. It’s like having a live bomb on your kitchen counter. It can be due to mishandling of the device or a design defect.

Causes of Pressure Cooker Explosions

Pressure cooker explosions can occur due to faults from the users as well as the manufacturers. Though the electric pressure cookers are made user-friendly, negligence on their part can lead to life-altering explosions sometimes. The errors from the user side can be as follows:

  • Overfilled cookers
  • Clogged vents
  • Improper oil usage
  • Using a cooker with worn-out gaskets or valves

The defects in the manufacturing can include:

  • Gasket failure
  • Poor lid seals
  • Inadequate ventilation
  • Release valve failure
  • Incorrect digital indication
  • Safety lock failures

Defective Pressure Cooker Explosion Injuries

First, second or third-degree burns can be caused by poorly built or malfunctioning equipment. Contact with electrical outlets or circuits on electric pressure cookers can result in electrocution injuries, such as electrocution burns, as steam and highly heated water make up the majority of the explosion’s debris. Other major injuries include:

  • Amputations caused by shrapnel injuries, severe burns, or infections, and other complications that arise as a result of the injuries
  • Cuts and fractured bones caused by the impact of metal components thrown into the air or a tumble caused by spilled food ingredients
  • Eye injuries leading to lifelong blindness or visual loss
  • Second- and third-degree burns that necessitate skin grafts
  • Severe, potentially life-threatening blood loss
  • Scars and disfigurements
  • Traumatic brain injury (TBIs) and concussions

Defective Pressure Cooker Recalls

The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), a regulatory agency, is tasked with safeguarding Americans from products that offer an undue risk of causing damage or death. Many adverse pressure cooker injuries were reported to them often. The following brands were issued recall notices by the CPSC and recalled in the past.

Pressure Cooker brands
Recalled year
Reason
Breville Fast Slow Cookers
December 2015
Defective lid sealing gasket
Cook’s Essentials Electronic Pressure Cooker (QVC)
June 2006
Premature lid opening
Crock-Pot Express Multi-Cooker
November 2020
Burn hazard
Crofton Chef’s Collection Stainless Steel Pressure Cookers
August 2017
Defective lid
Double Insight Multi-Cookers (Gem 65 8-in-1 Multicooker) – Walmart
March 2018
Shock hazard
Gourmia Express Pot Electric Pressure Cooker
Not available
Not available
HSN Bella Cucina Zip Cookers
February 2007
Premature lid opening
HSN Ultrex Pressure Cookers
November 2006
Lid opened during cooking
Instant Gem 65 Multi-Cooker
March 2018
Fire hazard
Instant Pot “Smart” Model Pressure Cooker
July 2015
Electric shock
Manttra Pressure Cookers
December 2007
Improper closing lids
Prestige Smartplus Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker
April 2012
Defective gasket
Rena Ware Nutrex Pressure Cookers
August 2018
Steam released even at lower pressures
Sunbeam 6-Pot Pressure Cooker
December 2020
Lid defect
Tower Pressure Cookers
February 2019
Premature lid opening
Welbilt Electronic Pressure Cookers (HSN)
June 2006
Defective lids
3-Squares Tim3 Machin3 Cookers
November 2016
Premature lid opening

Brands Facing Pressure Cooker Lawsuits

Most of the pressure cooker manufacturers claim that their products have so many safety features like the ones listed below to ensure the safety of the consumers.

  • Excess pressure is released using backup vents or overpressure plugs.
  • Rubber gaskets that expand to prevent the lid from being opened or removed when the contents are under pressure.
  • Lid lock to keep the lid closed while the contents are under pressure.
  • Pressure regulators prevent excessive pressure.
  • Detection of leaking lids
  • Temperature probes and fuses to prevent high temperatures

However, there are a lot number of instant pot explosions leading to many pressure cooker lawsuits. There are many brands that are facing instant pot lawsuits in the current scenario. Let’s have a glance at a few brands that are facing pressure cooker litigation here.

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

Pressure Cooker Lawsuits

 

 
 
 
 
 
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The manufacturing defects in the electric pressure cookers are driving too many pressure cooker lawsuits all over the U.S. Let’s have a quick perusal of exploding instant pot lawsuits.

February 2021, New York

A lady was preparing the meal in her Fagor EZ lock pressure cooker. Her cooker had a design flaw that allowed it to be opened while under pressure, which the manufacturers claimed would not happen. The hot and scorching liquid sprayed into her skin, causing burn injuries.

July 2021, Pennsylvania

A woman from Pennsylvania filed a lawsuit on behalf of her two-year-old daughter. The mom was cooking soup in her instant pot as her child sat in a nearby chair. When she observed that the process was finished, the pot displayed an error message indicating that it was scorched. She attempted to open the lid after releasing the pressure on the cooker.

When she opened the pressure cooker, which still had a dangerous amount of pressure inside, it spilled searing hot ingredients upon her daughter, who was nearby. The majority of the child’s body was burned to the third degree. She required severe debridement treatments.

June 2022, Florida

The woman was cooking in her Ninja Foodi 11-in-1 Pro Pressure Cooker & Air Fryer when it splattered the steaming food onto her body, burning her. She had filed the lawsuit in a Circuit court in Florida. It is said that the maker did not respond to the allegations of the plaintiff.

July 2022, Connecticut

Barri Bolden was preparing a meal in her Sunbeam Crock-Pot pressure cooker. The lid suddenly opened, blowing hot food into her body. According to the manufacturers, the Crock-Pot pressure cooker could not be opened while under pressure. However, her cooker opened while under dangerously high pressure.

October 2022, Indiana

Shylyn Manns filed a lawsuit against the makers of NuWave 6Q Nutri-Pot Digital Pressure Cookers in the District Court of Illinois on behalf of her son. The instant pot explosion erupted the hot content onto her kid burning his body.

The makers had claimed that the cooker had a “sure-lock” system that would not allow the pressure cooker to be opened while under pressure. However, her cooker lid could be turned and opened while under pressure.

The lawsuit alleged that,

Allegations-in-pressure-cooker-lawsuits

November 2022, California

Albert Bae filed a product liability case against the Elite Bistro Pressure Cooker manufacturers in 2020 for his burn injuries. The lid exploded when there was still pressure within the cooker, spilling all of the hot food inside.

Pressure Cooker Accidents Liability

Each pressure cooker lawsuit under personal injury claims can be unique based on various circumstances that led to the pressure cooker explosion injuries. They are listed below:

  • The way in which the pressure cooker was damaged
  • The factors that led to the explosion
  • Precedent describing similar instances involving similar pressure cookers, if applicable
  • The degree of your injuries as a result of the explosion
  • An estimate of your desired personal injury compensation

The pressure cooker accident liability would include the following:

  • Strict Products Liability- Plaintiffs need not prove that a manufacturer was negligent, reckless, or careless in developing, manufacturing, or marketing a product under strict liability.
  • Negligent Products Liability- The manufacturer acted negligently, failing to take the necessary steps to ensure the product’s safety.
  • Express Warranty Breach- Plaintiffs can obtain damages from the vendor for breach of warranty.
  • Breach of Implied Merchantability Warranty- This warranty presumes that a good or product will function as intended. A breach of this makes the maker liable.
  • Violation of the implied warranty of fitness for a particular purpose- When a buyer depends on the seller to pick the items to meet a specific request, the warranty of fitness for a particular purpose is implied. A violation will lead to legal consequences.
  • A transgression of a particular ordinance (dependent on locale)

Who Can be Held Liable for Pressure Cooker Explosion Injuries?

The defendants in pressure cooker lawsuits can be based on the type of defect that led to the explosion.

  • Manufacturer of the product
  • Designer of the product
  • Product provider, distributor, or wholesaler
  • Retailer who sells the product
  • Marketing firms

What Should I do if My Pressure Cooker Exploded?

If you or your loved one is injured in an instant pot explosion, you have to report the injury to the CPSC first. Seeking medical attention at once can reduce the pain and suffering and the intensity of the injuries. Let the physicians be informed of the cause of the injury and its severity. Documenting the pain rates and the symptoms can come in handy when pursuing a lawsuit.

Get experienced defective pressure cooker injury lawyers to succor you in your pressure cooker litigation. Many pressure cooker lawyers take the claims for instant pot injuries on “No win, no fee”. The contingency fee can relieve the financial burden during the litigation.

Medical records can be solid evidence to prove the degree of your injuries and your suffering. Ensure that your medical charts are error-free and intact.

A medical record review company like LezDo techmed can surf through your records to filter the valid points that can strengthen your claim.

Pressure Cooker Lawsuit Settlements

Many manufacturers of pressure cookers have settled lawsuits either in an open or secret settlement in the past. A class action settlement was proposed in 2018 for the plaintiffs who had purchased the Tristar Power pressure cooker between March 1, 2013, and January 19, 2018.

Going through a few of the pressure cooker lawsuits will give us a better idea of the expected pressure cooker lawsuit settlement amounts.

$27 million settlement

A toddler who was bathing in the sink was seriously burned by the Vasconia Pressure Cooker explosion. In the accident, she lost one of her lower limbs and several fingers. The $27 million settlement was intended to help her with medical expenses, revision operations, and prosthetics.

Confidential Settlement by Maxi-Matic

The makers of the Maxi-Matic Pressure Cooker had settled a claim by Bridget Iovino for an undisclosed amount. In 2015, while making chicken broth, her cooker exploded, spewing the hot liquid on her, causing third-degree burns. The case got resolved in 2018 with a secret pressure cooker settlement.

Undisclosed Compensation by Tristar

When a Texas woman was cooking pinto beans in her new Tristar Power Pressure Cooker XL, it burst and injured her. She suffered scorching injuries and was scarred for life. She claimed to have followed the makers’ instructions. The claim was settled in an undisclosed amount in the District Court for the Southern District of Texas.

Latest Updates on Pressure Cooker Lawsuits

There was no consolidation of pressure cooker litigation as of November 2022. Several lawsuits are ongoing and in various stages across the country. A single plaintiff-favored verdict can have a significant influence on all outstanding claims.

Because there is more instant pot litigation in the United States, there is a possibility of an MDL in the future. Settlements in ongoing pressure cooker lawsuits can be used to infer the average pressure cooker lawsuit payout per person.

To wrap up,

The defective instant pot in your kitchen is equivalent to an exploding volcano that can harm anyone nearby. When you buy a pressure cooker, ensure its safety. The manufacturers who are legally responsible for making their products safe can be held liable when pressure cookers explode.

Never delay your claim in case of an injury. Filing your pressure cooker injury lawsuits within the statutes of limitation of your state can make your claim valid. Let your pent-up emotional and financial pressure get released by deserving compensation.

What are your thoughts on such pressure cooker explosion injuries? Please share your thoughts in the comment section.

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