UPDATE: Lawsuits Filed in Connection with Defective Pressure Cookers

Lawsuits are being filed across the country by pressure cooker users who have suffered catastrophic injuries as a result of the cookers’ defects. In most cases, the lawsuits allege that defects in the lid and/or lid locking systems allow the cookers to be open before they are fully depressurized, increasing the risk of burns and scalds.

Phelan Petty is currently reviewing cases involving defective pressure cookers and multi-cookers which have led to burns and other catastrophic injuries.

Some of the more recent lawsuits filed across the country include:

  • In 2021, Utah resident Lucy Perkins filed a lawsuit against Instant Brands, Inc, manufacturer of Instant Pot pressure cookers, alleging that a defect in the lid lock allowed it to be removed while pressure is still built up inside the cooker, creating a risk of scald and burn injuries.
  • In 2022, a Michigan woman filed a lawsuit against The Steelstone Group, LLC, alleging that a defect in the lid locking mechanism of her Gourmia Pressure Cooker led to her burn injuries.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has issued pressure cooker recalls affecting close to 40,000 Breville, Rena Ware, and Instant Pot models commonly sold by retailers such as Best Buy, Macy’s, and Amazon.

The most common injuries from pressure cookers are burn injuries, including everything from 1st to 3rd degree, inflicting damage over a large portion of a person’s body. Many of these injuries leave victims susceptible to infections, and in some cases result in amputation.

Lawsuits filed in connection with NuWave Pressure Cookers

A number of lawsuits have been filed against NuWave LLC, alleging that their pressure cookers – specifically, the NuWave 6Q Nutri-Pot 6Q Digital Pressure Cooker” – have a design defect which allows consumer to open the lid of the cooker when the pressure is high enough to cause injury. Because of this defect, multiple plaintiffs allege that they sustained injuries as a result of scalding liquids being ejected out of the pressure cooker.

Under UL Standard 136 – the standard which governs pressure cookers, a person should not be physically able to open the pressure cooker when the pressure is high enough to cause injury:

If the cover is secured by a twist-lock arrangement requiring a rotating force exerted between the vessel and its cover, the vessel is to be clamped so as to be held stationary. The outermost point of any cover or cover handle is to be attached by a cable to a spring scale capable of being used in the range of 100 pounds (45.4 kg). The arrangement shall provide the application of a line of force of 100 pounds (445N), maintained at 90 degrees to the radius of the point of attachment, from a remote or protected location.

This is more force than the ordinary human could apply manually, yet these cookers are opening under pressure when the indication to the user is that there is no pressure.

NuWave has specifically advertised its pressure cooker lids as being safe, stating that their Sure-Lock System ensures that the lid stays locked until the cooker depressurizes. The lawsuits allege that NuWave’s representations regarding the safety of their lids is false, and that NuWave continues to conceal the defect.

As a result of this defect, multiple plaintiffs have sustained physical injuries caused by the scalding steam and liquid in their pressure cookers. Phelan Petty recently secured a confidential settlement on behalf of a client who sustained injuries from a defective NuWave pressure cooker.

What kinds of injuries are caused by defective pressure cookers?

The most likely injuries caused by defective pressure cookers are burn injuries. Scalding steam and liquids can splash onto the hands, arms, chests, neck, and faces of consumer who remove the defective lid before the cooker depressurizes. These burns can be severe enough to cause permanent scarring and disfigurement.

There is also a risk of other injury if the pressure cooker lid is thrown off by the force of the pressure.

What should I do if I have been injured by a pressure cooker?

If you sustained injuries from a defective pressure cooker, you should stop using the cooker immediately. Do not throw away your pressure cooker. Our product liability attorneys will have the cooker examined and evaluated by an expert as part of your claim.

Injuries from defective, exploding pressure cookers

Pressure cookers and appliances that perform similar functions in the kitchen are popular with everyone from amateur, at-home cooks to professional chefs who work in in commercial kitchens. These cookers are used every day to prepare meals quickly and easily. In fact, you may have one these cookers in your kitchen right now.

The pressure these cookers build up is equivalent to the pressure generated within a forcefully shaken can of soda. The difference is that a pressure cooker operates at temperatures that raise the liquid contained in the cooker to more than 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Many people across the nation have suffered burns from scalding hot liquid contained within these cookers when they have malfunctioned.

As a result, many lawsuits have been filed against the manufacturers of these defective products, claiming burn injury damages. Some models have also been recalled.

Pressure cooker risks and injuries

The most common types of pressure cooker injuries are second and third degree burns from explosions, spills of hot liquid, and steam.

Some of the pressure cooker defects that can lead to burn injuries are explained below:

  • Explosions – a pressure cooker manufactured from weak or defective materials may make the cooker susceptible to an explosion even when the product is used properly according to directions.
  • Spills – if the seals of the pressure cooker are improperly designed or manufactured, the contents of the cooker could violently spill out at very dangerous temperatures.
  • Electric shocks – a pressure cooker lacking sufficient insulation could inflict an electric shock upon the user during contact

Injuries and burns from pressure cookers can result in scarring, scalding, hospital or ER visits, skin grafts or other types of surgery.

A pressure cooker injury lawsuit could help you recover from the injuries and other damages you have sustained. Some of these damages may include:

  • Lost wages and other income loss
  • Medical care and treatment costs
  • Property damage costs
  • Pain and suffering (including mental and emotional anguish)

If you have sustained injuries from a defective pressure cooker, you do not have to pursue the recovering of your damages alone. An experienced defective product attorney can help you at this difficult time.

Phelan Petty is handling pressure cooker explosion cases. We stand as your strong advocates for justice and compensation if a defective or dangerous product such as pressure cooker has caused you injury. If you would like a free consultation about your case, one of our experienced, Richmond product liability attorneys can help. Give us a call today at 804-980-7100 or leave us a message through our contact form to request an appointment.