When ingenuity meets technology, products are invented to make our lives easier. However, when design flaws, manufacturing problems, or defective materials are used, these products can malfunction resulting in serious injuries. Pressure cooker defects cause significant burns, concussions, soft tissue injuries from flying projectiles, and permanent scarring.
Kitchen appliances malfunction frequently, causing harm to consumers and creating devastating injuries. These kitchen tools should be recalled. But often, no action is ever taken until injured parties begin to speak up.
Defects in pressure cookers are more common than we think. Manufacturing and design defects are the usual cause, but proper usage and caution can minimize the risk of pressure cooker explosions.
The main reason pressure cooker injuries occur is due to the rapid depressurization that occurs when parts of the pressure cooker do not work properly. This loss of pressure causes the gasses and steam inside the cooker to expand and explode. Explosions can send scalding food, broken parts, and boiling water everywhere.
Imagine if a can of soda was served at a boiling temperature. Now imagine that someone shook the can and set it in front of you. The only thing guarding you from being sprayed with flying can shrapnel and superheated cola is the seal.
When the seals, gaskets, locks, or other mechanisms are not doing their job, the risk of a pressure cooker exploding increases. Here are some of the more specific failures of a faulty pressure cooker.
The rubber gaskets that create a vacuum seal to pressurize the pot can fail. It can be cracked, damaged or poorly fitted, creating an improper seal. A failed gasket may cause the pot to open prematurely or explode, either of which will release scalding liquids and steam.
The pressure cooker’s ventilation system is designed specifically for the purpose of safely releasing steam and pressure. When pressure isn’t released at a reasonably controlled rate, you have a recipe for disaster.
Steam that is not allowed to escape can cause explosions. Steam that escapes too fast can cause burns. In either case, faulty ventilation is a dangerous flaw.
In order to contain steam and pressure, the lid must have a locking mechanism that keeps the lid in place. The pot can open during cooking if the lid lock fails and causes burns from hot food or liquid that spills out.
Imagine a boiling pot on your stove. When the pot begins to boil over, a big mess of food and hot liquids flow all over the stove and countertop, often dripping onto the floor. When a pressure cooker lid lock failure happens, the boiling materials escape the pot faster and more violently.
A seal on the cooker could be loose or improperly installed causing the food or boiling liquids to spill onto the user or into the pot, creating yet another hazard or an injury.
Manufacturers and designers have a legal obligation to inspect and test their products for consumer safety to prevent injuries. We assume that when we purchase a pressure cooker to add convenience to our daily meal preparation, that it will be safe.
There are agencies such as the Consumer Product Safety Commission to regulate and monitor product safety testing, but many appliances slide through the inspection with unacceptably dangerous flaws. These flaws lead to burns and injuries that could have and should have been prevented, injuring many people before product recalls were even a consideration.
When a pressure cooker causes damage to you, your family, and even your property, you have the legal right to pursue compensation for your injuries. In order to prove that the pressure cooker was the cause and that your injuries were not due to user error, you need to be able to prove that the product is defective. This can be done in a number of ways.
In some cases, you can win by proving that the manufacturer or seller was negligent in the manufacturing or development of the device.
To reasonably pursue damages it must be proven that harm you have suffered was caused by the device and it needs to be proven defective in one or more ways:
The design of the appliance is flawed and doesn’t work in the way it was intended. This can also pertain to a product that creates other problems while it is in proper use. For example, an appliance that is used on its highest setting catching on fire, or a sticky accelerator on a brand new car.
If any part of the manufacturing process causes the item to deviate from the original design, it can be considered a manufacturing defect. The manufacturing process failure had to cause the malfunction which led to the injury. This could be proven if it is found that there were substandard materials used or poor quality control in the production line.
An example of this would be food that was contaminated by foreign materials during manufacturing, or an entire lot of computers that failed because they used a substandard or damaged batch of microchips.
When the manufactures don’t tell consumers the known risks of using a product, it can be considered a marketing defect in the eyes of the law. Courts consider the omission of instructions or warnings as a defect in product liability cases.
If a manufacturer wishes to avoid being held liable for injuries due to a product’s defect, they have to include complete instructions and proper warning labels. An example of defective marketing would be a manufacturer who knew their product would cause cancer if used for long periods of time but failed to warn the consumer.
If you or a loved one were injured by a defective pressure cooker, a product liability attorney at Zanes Law Injury Lawyers can evaluate your case today. Some pressure cooker defects may relate to recalled items from manufacturers such as Tristar Power, Maxi-Matic, Instant Pot, Fagor America, Tabletops Unlimited, and Wolfgang Puck.
The product liability lawyers at Zanes Law are available to help injury victims pursue damages for pressure cooker accidents. If you believe that a defective product that led to your injury, don’t hesitate to contact us. We are here to help.