Americans are opting for pressure cookers in large numbers these days. More people are cooking at home, and they do not have the time to sit at the stove to wait for their food. As a result, things like the Instant Pot and other pressure cookers are flying off the shelves. Even the term “pressure cooker” sounds dangerous. These appliances can injure the people who use them, especially when they are defectively designed. If you or a loved one have been hurt in a pressure cooker accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation in a lawsuit.
Pressure cookers mean reduced cooking time. They cook food differently than a traditional pot on the stove. They rely on sealing off the food and using pressure to quickly heat it. The pressure cooker is a chamber that is tightly closed. As the food heats, it produces steam, which is then trapped by the pressure cooker. The temperature rises quickly, beyond the 212 degree boiling point of water. The increased temperature leads to shorter cooking times.
Old-school pressure cookers were bulky contraptions. Many people hesitated to use them because of the perception of danger. Occasionally, that perception became reality as people were injured in accidents in their own kitchen. However, these appliances have gone mainstream in recent years as pressure cooker sales have picked up dramatically. Nowadays, it seems that everyone is sharing pressure cooker recipes and talking about them on social media.
Instant Pot Has Caused Pressure Cooker Sales to Soar
Brands like the Instant Pot have gained widespread acceptance. Amazon and other stores cannot sell this product fast enough, and millions of people have bought pressure cookers this decade. Pressure cookers have almost a cult following as people in a hurry still want to cook at home. Instant Pot has nearly six million social media follows, and it sold 300,000 products in 36 hours once during Amazon Prime Day.
Pressure Cookers Can Cause Injuries
With pressure cookers, things tend to happen more quickly. The combination of extreme heat using pressure to cook more quickly can be dangerous. Before the user is able to open the pressure cooker, the unit should become de-pressurized. In fact, they should not be able to open it at all before that happens. In reality, there have been numerous pressure cooker injuries from Instant Pot and other brands because consumers have been able to open the lids before the pressure escapes, and it causes explosions. Consumers are injured by the scalding hot contents of these pots. They often suffer the following injuries:
- Major burns
- Melting skin
- Blistered skin
Injured consumers often need multiple surgeries to repair some of the damages. This includes skin grafts and other procedures. In addition, scalding burns are intensely painful. Injured users lose their quality of life and could suffer permanent disfigurement.
Other Pressure Cooker Brands Have Also Caused Injuries
Of course, Instant Pot is the most recognizable name on the market. It is not the only brand of pressure cooker. The following other brands have had consumers report injuries from using their products:
- Tristar Power Pressure Cooker
- Crock-Pot Express
- Gourmia Express Pot Electric Pressure Cooker
Pressure Cooker Lawsuits That Are Pending
Each of these companies have faced product liability lawsuits alleging defective pressure cookers that harmed consumers. Here are some examples of cases that are pending before courts right now:
Tristar Power Pressure Cooker Litigation – Numerous consumers have been injured when the pressure cooker exploded after the steam had been let out of the appliance. Others have also sued for burns that they suffered by being able to open the pressure valve when the cooker was working. There was a multi-plaintiff lawsuit filed recently with 12 plaintiffs.
Instant Pot – This is the fastest growing category of lawsuits since Instant Pot has become the market leader. There have recently been lawsuits filed in Delaware and Colorado that have been filed by people who have been burned by exploding pressure cookers.
NuWave Nutri Pot – In 2020, an Illinois woman filed a lawsuit after she was burned. She claims that she was able to open the pot during operation, and was scalding by exploding hot contents.
Cuisinart – In 2018, a Connecticut woman filed a lawsuit, alleging that she was severely burned when contents escaped from a defective lid-locking mechanism.
The Sunbeam Pressure Cooker Recall
In November 2020, the kitchen appliance giant recalled its pressure cookers. The problem with these appliances was that the pot could pressurize when the lid was not fully locked. This means that consumers could open it and be injured by the exploding contents inside. The company received over 100 reports of this problem. 99 consumers suffered burns that range from mild to severe.
As a result, Sunbeam is now facing numerous lawsuits for an allegedly defective product. It seems that the company would have difficulty arguing that this problem was not a defect.
What Injured Consumers Allege in a Lawsuit
Pressure cooker product liability lawsuits usually have the following fact patterns:
- Plaintiffs will usually discuss how the pressure cooker manufacturers always entices consumers to buy their product with claims of safety.
- The lawsuits will allege that the pressure cooker is defective because consumers are able to remove the lid while there is still built up pressure insider
- Alternatively, these lawsuits will claim that the product is defective because the lid-locking mechanism does not always work as intended, and does not completely lock into place.
- The plaintiffs will always claim that the manufacturer of the pressure cooker knew or should have known of the defect. After all, the nature of the product itself should cause manufacturers to be vigilant about safety tests knowing the consequences of what could happen if the lid were able to open.
In many cases, manufacturers are alleged to have concealed this knowledge from the general public. After all, if the public truly knew what could happen when they are using this product, they wouldn’t be buying hundreds of thousands of them off of Amazon.
What You Can Receive in a Pressure Cooker Lawsuit
Injured consumers can recover the following damages if they are successful in their lawsuits against these manufacturers:
- Lost wages for time that they missed from work and the reduction in their earnings capacity
- Pain and suffering for both past and future. Note that burns are both physically painful, and the disfigurement can cost severe anxiety and depression
- Emotional trauma
- The cost of all medical bills out of pocket. This would include things such as surgeries and skin grafts.
Of course, the companies that make these products will fight your claims in court most often. They make too much money selling pressure cookers to admit that their products are dangerous. This is why you need a products liability attorney to fight for you. Call us today to get the legal process started. If you can prove that the pressure cooker that injured you or a loved one was defective, you may be entitled to significant financial compensation.