There has been a recent spike in the number of pressure cooker explosion lawsuits. These are cases involving defective pressure cooker products, which explode during use, causing major burn injuries to users. Dozens of people have been injured not due to user error, but because defective safety mechanisms failed, causing the explosions.
Products like Instant Pot pressure cookers allegedly contain defective latches, timers, pressure vents, and other defects, which allow even experienced consumers to remove the lid while the cooker is still under pressure. This in turn causes the contents to be projected from the units, causing serious injury to the user and those nearby.
Numerous recalls have already been ordered for several brands and models. If you have been injured in a pressure cooker explosion accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses.
Pressure cooker explosions typically result when the lid opens before the pressure is allowed to vent out. This can happen due to a wide range of reasons and causes. In many cases, the failure of a safety mechanism will cause an explosion. Even those who have used instant pressure cookers before can be at risk of injury because of these safety defects, not their own errors in timing or judgment.
Most instant pots and pressure cookers come equipped with a wide range of “safety functions” built-in, which are intended to help reduce the risk of an explosion. However, these can malfunction and then actually become the cause of an explosion accident.
Examples of safety features that can go wrong and cause injury include:
- Safety Locks and Latches: Locking lids are supposed to prevent an accidental opening of the pressure cooker. If these fail, an explosion can occur, often spontaneously. Leaks can also occur, causing burns as well.
- Temperature Control (Digital): Certain models may have automatic temperature regulation features, such as sensors and other digital components. A failure with these can result in temperatures that are too high, increasing pressure and making burns more dangerous.
- Anti-Blockage Venting: Pressure is regulated through vents. If the vents become blocked, steam can get trapped in the pot and cause an explosion. Venting issues can also cause severe steam burns.
- Pressure Control: These may also fail, resulting in too much pressure; this may also combine with a weak or defective lock, making the risk of injury even greater.
- Warning Sounds and Timer malfunctions: Many lawsuits involve cases where the timer went off early, prompting the user to open the lid before the steam was fully released. Or, a timer might fail to go off completely.
All of these risks can combine in different ways to create an explosion. For instance, a defective pressure control system can compromise a weak lid lock, while at the same time, a timer malfunction could add to the dangers, resulting in injury.
Pressure cookers involve exceptionally high temperatures, making safety of the utmost importance when using them. They can reach temperatures in excess of the normal boiling point of 212 degrees, making pressure cooker burns much more serious compared to burns from regular cookware.
As you can imagine, the most common types of pressure cooker injuries are burns, ranging from minor to very serious. At temperatures of 200+ degrees, this can lead to first, second, and third-degree burns. Anyone in the vicinity of the pressure cooker is at risk of having hot contents spilled onto their body.
Specifically, pressure cooker explosions can cause burns to the:
- Face and neck (often leading to scarring and disfigurement)
- Arms and chest
- Lower extremities (as the scalding hot food falls downward after the explosion)
A tragic scenario is where a parent is cooking in the kitchen with an infant nearby (such as in the dining area in a high chair). In such cases, the infant may often suffer burn injuries as well. Because the explosion radius can be quite large, infants have been known to suffer face and body burns from the burning contents being thrown across the room.
Several reviews on Amazon reveal explosion incidents resulting in traumatic experiences with the products.
“After 2 months this product exploded on my daughter, leaving her with 2nd degree burns on her face and chest”
– Amazon Reviewer
Besides burns from liquid or food, other types of injuries can occur with pressure cookers, instapots, crockpots, and other similar products. These may include:
- Steam burns
- Injuries cause by flying lids or broken particles of the product
- Lacerations (caused by broken glass or ceramic parts)
- Slip and falls caused by spills
- Various other types of injuries
Fire damage and property damage can also occur. These may also entitle a person to a damages award. As you may be able to tell, damage and injuries from a pressure cooker explosion can be severe. A personal injury lawyer can help you seek the legal remedy you need to compensate you for your losses.
Contact the lawyers at Pittman, Dutton, Hellums, Bradley & Mann at (205) 322-8880 for legal advice and representation for your claim.
Pressure cooker lawsuits can be complex and may involve a wide range of legal theories and causes of action. These can vary depending on the product, the type of injuries involved, and a whole host of other factors. Certain cases can involve multiple legal theories. These can include:
- Defective product claims, including design defects, manufacturing defects, and warning label defects
- Breach of express warranty
- Breach of implied warranty of merchantability
- Breach of implied warranty of fitness for a particular purpose
- Violation of specific codes (depending on the region)
- Other issues such as misrepresentation of safety
These are highly complex product liability and defective product matters that require the assistance of a personal injury lawyer. An experienced attorney can help you sort out legal liability to maximize your recovery.
In a pressure cooker explosion lawsuit, the injured party may be entitled to a damages award. This will help them recover losses caused by the accident, such as:
- Medical expenses and bills
- Medication and rehabilitation costs
- Lost wages
- Loss of ability to generate income in the future
- Loss of bodily functions (such as damaged eyesight)
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Pain and suffering
Again, working with a qualified injury attorney can help ensure that your rights are protected and that you receive the maximum recovery amount you’re entitled to.
The following is a list of pressure cooker brands and models involved in such lawsuits. These are products or brands that are either recalled or currently under investigation:
- ALDI Chef’s Collection Pressure Cooker
- ALDI Crofton Pressure Cookers
- Bella Cucina Zip Cooker
- Bistro Pressure Cookers
- Brentwood Select Easy Pot
- Breville Fast Slow Cookers
- Cook’s Essentials Pressure Cooker
- Crock-Pot Express Pressure Cooker
- Cuisinart Pressure Cooker
- Elite Bistro Pressure Cooker
- Elite Platinum
- Fagor America
- Fagor Pressure Cooker
- Ginny’s Pressure Cooker
- HSN Ultrex Pressure Cooker
- Instant Brands, Inc.
- Instant Pot (Insta Pot)
- Instant Pot Pressure Cooker
- Mirro Pressure Cooker
- Ninja Foodi
- Ninja Instant
- Nutrex Pressure Cookers
- Nuwave LLC
- NuWave Nutri-Pot Pressure Cooker
- Philippe Richards Pressure Cooker
- Power Pressure Cooker XL
- Prestige Smartplus Pressure Cooker
- QVC (Electric Pressure Cooker)
- Rena Ware
- Sunbeam Products Inc.
- Tabletops Unlimited Inc.
- Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group
- Wolfgang Puck Pressure Cooker
- Wolfgang Puck Worldwide, Inc
This list may be subject to change as more products become implicated in the cases.
While the convenience and features of pressure cookers and all-in-one pots can be helpful, they are also associated with significant health and safety risks. If you or a loved one have been injured by a pressure cooker or other similar product, you may be entitled to damages for your losses.
The attorneys at Pittman, Dutton, Hellums, Bradley & Mann have extensive experience handling cases involving injuries to consumers. For more than 30 years, we have been protecting the rights of injury victims. Our attorneys have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars to help our clients get their lives back on track after a serious accident.
Get in touch with us today at (205) 322-8880 for a free, no-obligation consultation. We have the experience to provide the legal guidance you need to pursue a fair and just injury verdict and settlement.