A pressure cooker explosion is grounds for a lawsuit if it causes damage and/or severe injury. While pressure cookers are designed to increase efficiency, they can create catastrophe if defective. Usually, the devices are tested for mechanical failures but sometimes they are improperly manufactured.
Anyone seriously injured from a pressure cooker explosion may qualify to file a lawsuit. In this article, the personal injury attorneys at Zanes Law answer some of the most frequently asked questions about pressure cookers lawsuits.
What Is a Pressure Cooker?
These popular household appliances save time and energy by using steam to thoroughly cook food. They can be gas, electric or dual fuel machines. Pressure cookers come in a variety of sizes and consist of a lid, a pot, and a release valve.
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How do Pressure Cookers Work?
Pressure cookers use steam to prepare slow-cooked meals quicker than other methods like the oven or crockpot. Once the pot is sealed, the heat begins to boil the liquids inside, causing steam to cook the food at a temperature of at least 250° F.
What Are the Dangers of a Defective Pressure Cooker?
Lawsuits have been filed alleging that pressure cookers have exploded during regular use, resulting in severe injuries or property damage. Exploding refers to scalding-hot food ejecting from the cooker or even shrapnel from the appliance harming people or surrounding property.
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Why do Pressure Cookers Explode?
When pressure cookers explode, it is usually due to user error or defective units. Common causes for its explosion include:
- Pressure forces the lid open
- The lid is manually opened before the cooker is depressurized
- There is a manufacturing defect or design flaw with the safety mechanism
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Have There Been Any Pressure Cooker Recalls?
The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has issued recalls to have many poorly manufactured pressure cookers immediately removed from shelves. Recalled pressure cooker models include but are not limited to:
- Alcan Pressure Cookers
- Double Insight Instant Pot Pressure Cooker
- Fagor America Pressure Cookers
- HSN Bella Cucina Zip Pressure Cookers
- HSN Ultrex Pressure Cookers
- Manttra Pressure Cookers
- Maxi-Matic Pressure Cookers
- Tabletops Unlimited Cookers
- Tristar Power Pressure Cooker XL
- Welbilt Electronic Pressure Cookers
- 3-Squares Tim3 Machin3 Cookers
Depending on the model or brand, attorneys can still file a lawsuit for recalled pressure cookers that exploded.
Who Qualifies to File a Lawsuit for a Pressure Cooker Explosion?
Those seriously burned or parents of injured children may qualify to file an individual lawsuit or join a class-action lawsuit for a pressure cooker explosion. They may be able to recover lost wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering, and punitive damages.
What Kind of Injuries Are Common from a Pressure Cooker Explosion?
The common injuries named in these lawsuits are severe burns. Many are thermal burns and cause scarring or disfigurement or lead to infections or multiple surgeries. In addition, victims also report cuts, bleeding, brain or eye injuries, and emotional issues.
How Much Can You Win from a Pressure Cooker Explosion Case?
Settlements amounts for a pressure cooker explosion lawsuit vary on a case-by-case basis. Depending on the severity of the injuries, personal injury attorneys can recoup hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars worth of damages for their clients.
Is There a Deadline for Filing a Lawsuit for a Pressure Cooker Explosion?
There is a statute of limitations for both personal injury and property damage. In the state of Arizona, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of injury or destruction. A lawsuit for a pressure cooker explosion must be filed by the deadline or legal action can not be taken.
What Is the Manufacturer’s Responsibility to the Consumer?
All manufacturers have a duty of care to their consumers. Under U.S. law, their products must uphold certain standards to prevent harm. Each case varies but claims against the pressure cooker manufacturer can include:
Strict Products Liability
This strict liability rule states that sellers and manufacturers are responsible for injuries caused by a product regardless of them ensuring that the product is safe and has no defects.
Negligent Products Liability
When commonly safe products enter the stream of commerce with inaccurate labeling or defective manufacturing, this comes into play.
Breach of Express Warranty
This is a breach of contract of an express or implied warranty that guarantees a product meets a certain level of quality or functionality. An express warranty can be given verbally or in writing.
Breach of Implied Warranty of Merchantability
Simply put, the product sold is guaranteed to work as promised or expected. This doesn’t have to be stated and applies to most consumer products. An example of this would be a brand new oven expected to become hot enough to cook your food.
Breach of Implied Warranty of Fitness for a Particular Purpose
Implied when a product is selected by the consumer to fit a specific request but the product fails to do so, an example of this is the cooker pressure safely cooking food but instead turns out to be unsafe due to defective design.
Violations of Civil Codes, Depending on Location
States and localities may have additional regulations to protect consumers. Contact a pressure cooker injury lawyer to file a lawsuit to be informed of your rights.
Are There Any Recent Pressure Cooker Lawsuits?
Many lawsuits have been filed for a pressure cooker explosion. Brands such as Tristar Power Pressure Cooker XL, Instant Pot, Crock-Pot, and Breville have been named in lawsuits. Below are recent court cases in which parties are holding companies liable:
- Brittany Gonzalez v. Instant Brands/Target: The lawsuit alleges that the pressure cooker was defectively designed and that false advertising puts consumers at risk for injury.
- Guillermo Rigondeaux v. CVS: This case alleges that CVS sold a defective pressure cooker that exploded during proper use, leaving the victim hospitalized and requiring multiple surgeries.
- Denisa Jancu v. Sunbeam is a product liability suit in which Sunbeam’s Crock-Pot pressure cooker safety defect allowed unsafe lid removal. The victim states that the defect was overlooked and places consumers in harm’s way.
The hazardous design and defective safety features of pressure cookers have contributed to a growing number of pressure cooker injury lawsuits as well as class action lawsuits.
Which Brands Have Pressure Cooker Lawsuits Against Them?
This is not an all-inclusive list but the following brands have lawsuits against them:
- Instant Pot
- Ninja Foodi
- Elie Bistro
- Phillipe Richards
- Wolfgang Puck
- Power Pressure Cooker XL
What Features Have Been Proven to Be Defective on a Pressure Cooker?
Safety features exist to prevent harm. Some features are defective, including but not limited to:
- Silicone rings or gaskets
- Safe-lock lids
- Pressure valves
How to File a Lawsuit for Injury from a Pressure Cooker?
Filing a lawsuit for a pressure cooker explosion allows those who suffered the chance to recover compensation for their injuries. Contact a personal injury attorney immediately to receive counsel and be assisted through the legal process .