A rising number of home cooks are fighting back against defective pressure cookers, filing product liability lawsuits after suffering severe burns. Reports of sudden explosions, often involving the country’s most popular pressure cookers, are frighteningly common.
- Power Pressure Cooker XL
- Fagor America & Maxi-Matic
- Wolfgang Puck Worldwide
Injured consumers may be eligible to pursue financial damages, securing compensation for medical bills, lost wages and emotional suffering. Our experienced product liability attorneys can help.
There’s no excuse for a defective product. Manufacturers who fail to account for consumer safety should be held liable.
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Hundreds of American consumers have learned through traumatic experience that some of the country’s most popular home appliances may be dangerously defective. In report after report submitted to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, home cooks from across the nation describe devastating pressure cooker explosions, many of which seem to occur under normal operating conditions. Are pressure cookers inherently dangerous? Or are some companies supplying us with faulty products – cooking devices that harbor design or manufacturing defects?
Home Cooks File Pressure Cooker Lawsuits
In a growing number of product liability lawsuits, injured consumers accuse prominent pressure cooker manufacturers – including Tristar Products, the company behind the wildly-popular Power Pressure Cooker XL – of selling appliances that pose unacceptable risks to human health. In their legal complaints, home cooks report horrifying explosions and severe second- and third-degree burns, along with the astronomical medical expenses that usually accompany serious injuries.
Our Lawyers Want To Help
Even more troubling, attorney investigations have uncovered evidence that many pressure cookers, despite advanced safety features, can blow up under normal conditions, leaving unsuspecting consumers with no opportunity to avoid personal harm.
2018 May See New Wave Of Pressure Cooker Lawsuits
Consumers who suffered injury in a pressure cooker explosion may be eligible to pursue financial compensation, seeking damages for their medical expenses, lost time on the job and emotional trauma. The Legal Herald is sponsored by a national coalition of attorneys devoted to protecting the rights of consumers. Our national network of legal professionals has already filed over 12 lawsuits on behalf of home cooks who were injured in pressure cooker explosions.
After a steady but slow rate of filings in 2016, the number of complaints filed against pressure cooker manufacturers increased dramatically in 2017. By the end of 2017, injured consumers had filed over 20 product liability lawsuits against Tristar Products alone.
Our attorneys filed 12 of these claims, pursuing compensation in open court on behalf of home cooks from across the country. Our clients were severely injured when a Power Pressure Cooker XL, marketed as safe to use, suddenly blew up under normal operating conditions. Now, we’re fighting for compensation on their behalf.
Who Can File A Burn Injury Lawsuit?
We believe hundreds, if not thousands, of other people may be eligible to file lawsuits of their own. And our investigations aren’t limited to cases involving the Power Pressure Cooker XL. Our nationwide network of attorneys is also investigating alleged explosions linked to pressure cookers manufactured by Fagor America, Wolfgang Puck Worldwide, Tabletops Unlimited (Denmark Tools for Cooks) and Maxi-Matic, manufacturer of the Bistro Elite and Platinum.
Are You Filing A Pressure Cooker Class Action?
Note that our attorneys are not filing class action lawsuits. While class action is a legal technique often used to pursue cases involving consumer products, it’s not usually appropriate for lawsuits involving severe personal injuries.
To pursue a class action, one “representative” plaintiff must stand in to adequately represent the interests of hundreds or thousands of similarly-affected people. That’s nearly impossible when multiple people have been severely injured by the same product, since their injuries and expenses could be wildly different. Injury cases are personal. That’s why our lawyers have chosen to pursue only individual personal injury lawsuits.
If you or a loved one were injured when a pressure cooker exploded, our experienced product liability attorneys can help. Contact our lawyers today to receive a free consultation. You can learn more about your legal options at no charge and no obligation. Even more importantly, our attorneys offer their services on contingency-fee basis – you pay nothing until we secure compensation in your case.
Which Cookers Can Explode?
Many cooking sites now consider pressure cookers an essential component of every home kitchen. It’s easy to see why. By trapping moisture and heat inside a sealed pot, pressure cookers cut down on cooking time and lock in flavor, producing delicious meals in a fraction of the time. Considering their potential benefits, it shouldn’t be a surprise that America’s big box stores and home shopping networks have been flooded with hundreds of different pressure cooker models, manufactured by dozens of domestic and international companies.
Reports of pressure cooker explosions, however, seem to center on a select group of products:
- Power Pressure Cooker XL – Tristar Products
- ELITE Platinum and Bistro pressure cookers – Maxi-Matic
- Fagor America pressure cookers
- Phillippe Richard pressure cookers – Tabletops Unlimited
- Denmark Tools for Cooks – Tabletops Unlimited
- Wolfgang Puck Worldwide pressure cookers
Evidence of apparent pressure cooker defects is everywhere. Just look at the Consumer Product Safety Commission, a federal register of recalls and accident reports. You’ll find dozens of reports, submitted by average home cooks, explaining how their pressure cookers suddenly exploded during use.
Consumers Describe Horrific Explosions
A report submitted on June 1, 2017 is characteristic:
“my wife was cooking dinner using Tristar power pressure cooker XL. The product indicated it was done and all directions were followed to release pressure. While releasing cover the contents exploded all over leaving my wife with second and third degree burns on her hands, arms, chest and stomach.”
The victim, a 30-year-old woman in Michigan, received emergency room treatment for her injuries; pictures included along with the safety report show deep skin wounds on the woman’s thumb and hand. The couple says they purchased their Power Pressure Cooker XL at a local Walmart.
Another report, published on May 5, 2017, tells a similar story:
“This morning my Fagor Rapid Express pressure cooker malfunctioned and blew the gasket and went off like a bomb. I believe I would have been severely injured if I had been in the kitchen at the time.”
The pressure cooker in question, according to the reporter, was purchased at a Bed Bath & Beyond in Colorado.
In yet another report, from March 2017, Tristar’s Power Pressure Cooker XL pops up again:
“At approximately 5:50pm, I was cooking dinner in the Power Cooker Plus (Tristar) pressure cooker. I have used it many times and I am very familiar with pressure cooker usage. When the meal was done, I manually released the pressure using the valve. Believing the pressure to be fully released, I attempted to turn the lid. The lid is advertised as a safety lid that should not turn if there is any pressure. However, the lid did turn and, as it did, the scalding hot contents of the pot erupted and shot out of the pressure cooker […] Food was everywhere and I was hit in the stomach with scalding hot fluid. I was burned with blistering 2nd degree burns across my abdomen even through 2 layers of clothing.”
The victim, a 47-year-old woman, received medical attention.
Customers Report Safety Feature Failures
As the last report makes clear, most modern pressure cookers come with a host of advertised safety features, from backup steam release valves to lids that, supposedly, will not open until all pressure has been released. But in reports to federal regulators and product reviews online, hundreds of consumers say these so-called safety features can fail catastrophically.
Amazon reviews describe the Casa Essentials Pressure Cooker, manufactured by Fagor America, as “not safe to own” and a “dangerous product” that “blew up” and caused burns. Comments submitted to the Better Business Bureau about Maxi-Matic, an appliance company based in California, say the manufacturer’s ELITE line of pressure cookers can catch on fire at a moment’s notice, explode unexpectedly or simply fail days after purchase.
These are not isolated incidents. This pattern is repeated time and again. Manufacturers promise safety; consumers suffer injuries.
How Product Liability Lawsuits Work
Needless to say, no consumer product – to say nothing of pressure cookers – should explode and cause severe injuries when used properly according to manufacturer instructions.
America’s strong history of consumer protection law is unequivocal: companies who provide unreasonably dangerous products should be held responsible. When manufacturers produce, distribute or sell a product that poses unacceptable risks to consumer safety, they can be held accountable in civil court. Injured consumers have every right to file a product liability lawsuit, pursuing financial compensation for the full range of their damages, from medical expenses and lost wages to pain and suffering.
What’s more, these lawsuits are almost universally governed by a legal standard of strict liability – the defendant’s behavior does not matter. It doesn’t matter, in a court of law, whether or not the manufacturer was negligent, reckless or intended to cause harm. Questions of negligence and intent are central to most personal injury claims, but in the majority of states, these questions never enter the equation of a product liability lawsuit.
Instead, a pressure cooker lawsuit’s weight will fall entirely on the following three questions:
- the pressure cooker was sold in an unreasonably dangerous condition
- the seller expected and meant for the pressure cooker to reach consumers without changes or modifications
- the plaintiff was injured by the defective pressure cooker
As we can see, there’s no element here that speaks to the manner in which the pressure cooker was designed or manufactured. The majority of plaintiffs will have to prove that their pressure cooker harbored a design or manufacturing defect. But there’s no additional requirement to prove that the defect resulted from the manufacturer’s negligence or reckless disregard for public safety. In short, consumer product manufacturers are held to a high standard of responsibility, a level of liability intended to protect consumers from harm.
Have Any Pressure Cookers Been Recalled?
The federal response to this problem has been patchy. To date, the Consumer Product Safety Commission has not stepped in to prevent any of the newer pressure cookers from reaching the market. Tristar’s Power Pressure Cooker XL, linked to the vast majority of reported explosions, is still on the market. The last recall reported by the federal agency came in 2015, when Breville withdrew about 35,600 Fast Slow Cookers after receiving five reports of customer burns.
In the past, consumer safety watchdogs have taken a more active role in protecting home cooks. After alleged defects were discovered in a line of pressure cookers sold by the Home Shopping Network (HSN), the Consumer Product Safety Commission accused the cable shopping channel of failing to warn consumers about the danger and threatened to sue. To avoid a lawsuit, HSN offered the federal government an $875,000 civil settlement, Broadcasting & Cable reports.
How Do I Learn More?
Contact our experienced lawyers for a free consultation and explore your legal options today. If you or a loved one were injured in a pressure cooker explosion, you may be entitled to secure significant compensation, but time may be limited. Every state restricts the amount of time injury victims have to file a product liability lawsuit. These laws, known as “statutes of limitations,” can be very strict. Compliance with the law is absolutely necessary to ensure that your rights are protected. Call now or fill out our online contact form for more information.