Pressure Cooker Product Defect Lawsuits
Most home cooks are familiar with electronic pressure cookers, if not owners of one themselves. Pressure cookers, sometimes referred to as “Instant Pots” (a particular brand of pressure cooker), can be ideal for busy, health-conscious families. Pressure cookers work by trapping steam inside a sealed pot, building pressure that increases the temperature of boiling water from 212°F to 250°F.  The increase in temperature results in quicker cooking time than traditional methods.   Also, because the food is cooked quicker and at lower temperatures than in an oven, on a grill, etc., the food’s nutrients are retained more effectively, resulting in quick, healthy meals.   While many people may be aware of the benefits, most people may not be aware of the dangers associated with faulty pressure cookers. As pressure cookers have increased in popularity over the last two decades, so too have incidents of reported injuries caused by pressure cooker explosions or similar events. These incidents have resulted in severe burns, cuts, broken bones, and concussions, among various other injuries.
Common causes of Pressure Cooker explosions
As pressure cookers gained popularity with American home cooks, manufacturers competing for market share invented safety locks and pressure regulators that made consumers feel safe purchasing and using their products.  And while most pressure cookers are perfectly safe, some manufacturers have failed to make sure these safety mechanisms work as intended, leaving consumers susceptible to significant risks of an explosion.  Pressure cookers are designed to safely contain the pressurized steam during the cooking process, then slowly release that pressure once the cooking process is finished. The design is intended to prevent users from opening the pressure cooker until all of the pressure is released from the pot, at which point the pot can be safely opened. However, if the mechanisms responsible for this critical safety feature are faulty or malfunction, it can produce a dangerous result.

  • Faulty lid seals- Pressure cooker lids are designed to be airtight to allow for all the steam and pressure to be inside the device so it can reach optimal cooking conditions. When those lids are not designed correctly, the seal can be broken and can lead to an explosion.
  • Defective lid lock: If the lock of a pressure cooker doesn’t work properly, a user may have to open the device before it’s finished venting and that can lead to a serious burn or explosion.
  • Incorrect venting: Venting allows incredibly hot steam to slowly release from the pressure cooker. When this mechanism is broken, it may lead to an explosion.
  • Fault gaskets
  • Faulty automatic shutoffs: Many of the electronic pressure cookers come with a built in automatic shutoff for safety purposes and when those fail, explosions and incredible amounts of super heated steam releasing can happen.

Common Pressure Cooker-Related Injuries

  • Blunt force trauma injuries
  • Eye injuries that can lead to vision loss or blindness
  • Burns
    • From 2nd degree to 4th degree burns, an exploding pressure cooker can deliver catastrophic burns to the body.
Pressure Cooker Brands Associated with Recalls or Injuries
The following brands have been linked to injuries or recalled due to defects. Other brands of pressure cookers, while not listed, may still contain dangerous defects and pose a risk to consumers.  Before buying a new pressure cooker, you should check out the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)’s website to look for any applicable recalls and/or warnings.  This is also important to do periodically for a pressure cooker you may already own.
  • ALDI
  • Blusmart
  • Breville
  • Cook’s Essentials
  • Crofton
  • Cuisinart
  • Elite Bistro
  • Ginny’s
  • Instant Pot
  • Manttra
  • Maxi-Matic
  • Nuwave
  • Prestige
  • QVC Electric Pressure Cooker
  • Tabletops Unlimited
  • Tristar
  • Ultrex
  • Welbilt
  • Wolfgang
Why file a lawsuit?
Consumers injured by faulty pressure cookers may be able to recover compensation for defect-related injuries. Filing a lawsuit provides the chance to hold the brand manufacturer liable for the injuries caused by their product. Lawsuits like these are an opportunity for consumers to make these manufacturers accountable to the public and help to ensure that these companies, and others like them, dedicate sufficient efforts to preventing harmful defects in products they market to the public.

People seriously burned or otherwise injured after an explosion (or similar incident) of their defective pressure cooker may qualify to file a lawsuit against the brand manufacturer to recover 1) lost wages; 2) medical expenses; 3) compensation for pain and suffering caused by the pressure cooker explosion and resulting injuries, and 4) other damages meant to deter the defendant manufacturer from engaging in negligent practices in the future.

Parents may also file a lawsuit on behalf of their children injured by a pressure cooker explosion.

If you or a loved one have experienced serious injuries such as those listed above from an electronic pressure cooker, please call Pope McGlamry today at 404-523-7706 or fill out the form below to discuss whether you have a claim against the manufacturer of your electronic pressure cooker.