Lawsuit Filed Against Pressure Cooker Manufacturer for Defective Products

Lawsuit Filed Against Pressure Cooker Manufacturer for Defective Products

A pressure cooker, also known as an “instant pot,” is a beloved kitchen staple that lessens the time spent actually cooking. It is a labor and time-saving tool that people have relied on for decades. This convenient appliance has not declined in popularity over the years but instead maintained a steady appreciation, with over $51 million in sales in 2019. However, many have reported severe injuries related to malfunctioning pressure cookers. Pressure cooker explosions have severely burned and injured consumers. In September 2022, a woman who sustained injuries after using a pressure cooker filed a lawsuit against electronic home appliance manufacturer Sunbeam Products. 

Pressure Cookers Contain Scalding Contents 

Pressure cookers shorten cooking times while extracting maximum flavor efficiency thanks to their design. A pressure cooker traps generated steam while it heats the contents in its sealed chamber. The pressure increases as the trapped steam builds, bringing the internal temperature past the temperature of boiling water, around 250 °F, or even higher. To safely reach the piping-hot contents, the user must carefully release the pressure by turning the vent. It is safe to open the pressure cooker only once the user has dispelled the boiling hot steam.

Defective Pressure Cookers Release Hazardous Steam

However, countless individuals have suffered extensive injuries due to defective pressure cookers. Although manufacturers equip pressure cookers with multiple safety features to mitigate the risk of injury, these features can malfunction. A pressure cooker’s built-in safety features include locks on the lid, gaskets, and pressure valves to imprison the hazardous components. These components work together to keep the pressurized contents within, but searing liquids can spew out of the pressure cooker when these features fail. 

Pressure cookers bring the contents well above boiling temperatures and can eject the scorching food onto anyone within a 5 to 10-foot radius. The scalding contents can cause horrific injuries when it collides with those nearby. Victims of defective pressure cookers report experiencing severe 2nd to 3rd-degree burns. Grisly burns are the most common injuries associated with pressure cookers. 

Lawsuits Filed in California Over Malfunctioning Pressure Cooker 

On September 26, 2022, Dana Salas of Lake Elsinore, California, filed a lawsuit against Sunbeam Products after she suffered severe injuries due to her defective pressure cooker. The lawsuit claims Salas sustained substantial burns after removing the lid while the contents were still pressurized. The pressure cooker’s safety measures should have prevented Salas’ ability to rotate and remove the lid. However, these safety features failed, allowing Salas to detach the lid. 

Attorneys argue that Sunbeam knew or should have known its product contained potentially dangerous “defects but nevertheless put profit ahead of safety by continuing to sell its Pressure Cookers to consumers.” The lawsuit also cited that the Consumer Product Safety Commission announced Sunbeam recalled more than 900,000 pressure cookers due to 119 reports of lid detachment, resulting in 99 burn injuries, only a month after Salas’ incident.