Defective Pressure Cookers Cause Severe Burn Injuries
Not long ago in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, a two-year-old baby was so severely scalded by a pressure cooker accident that one of her legs had to be amputated. The accident reportedly involved a Tristar Power Pressure Cooker XL, which has not been recalled, even following several high-profile injury complaints. Pressure cookers are marketed as time-saving appliances, cooking food up to 70 percent faster than conventional cooking methods. However, accidents that lead to burns and other serious injuries put consumers at an increased risk in the kitchen.
Pressure cookers have become a very common kitchen appliance in recent years in the United States. Many consumers use them to save time and energy. Pressurized cookers are more efficient than other methods in some cases. However, they can pose extreme dangers if the cooker is defective in design or manufacture.
Pressure cooker defects have been discovered by consumers or the manufacturer, and recalled when they violate the safety standards of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Product defects may include poor design, faulty sealing gaskets, improper assembly or poor material construction. Consumers who have recently suffered burn injuries as a result of defective pressure cookers have filed lawsuits against the manufacturers.
Joe Lyon is a highly-rated Cincinnati, Ohio product liability lawyer representing plaintiffs nationwide in a wide variety of consumer product liability and product defect cases.
Why Are Pressure Cookers Dangerous?
Pressure cookers are sealed cooking devices that use a high amount of pressure to increase the boiling point of liquids. This allows food to cook without large amounts of water, energy or time. Food is usually placed within the pressure cooker and sealed with an air-tight lid that will not allow steam to escape during the cooking process. As the steam pressure rises, the water’s boiling point increases as well. When the optimal pressure of the cooking device is attained, the heat is reduced and the built pressure and high temperature cook the food in quick fashion.
But because some cooking devices are defective, the steam and boiling water may escape, or the entire pressure cooker may explode, causing serious injuries to consumers.
Common Pressure Cooker Defects
Pressure cookers heat quickly and produce intense temperature and steam, making them a high risk for steam burns, contact burns, splash or spill burns. The most common defects in pressure cookers have found to be:
1. Inadequate cooking pot seals—these seals are installed for spillage and expulsion of cooker contents, expected after a buildup of steam.
2. Faulty cooker gaskets—defective gaskets may allow the premature opening of the pot during the cooking phase, which may cause serious burn injuries.
3. Exploding pressure cookers—poor material construction and inadequate steam venting may cause the cooker to explode and cause serious injury.
Pressure Cooker Recalls in the United States
The Consumer Product Safety Commission analyzes whether a product poses a “substantial product hazard,” and makes recall decisions based on the three following factors:
- Types of defects—design defects, construction and packaging flaws, and inadequate warnings or instructions may all lead to recalls.
- Volume of defective products—one poor safety report can lead to a recall, but usually recalled products have already caused harm to many consumers.
- Severity of the risk—the safety agency carefully notes the number of injuries reported, the severity of those injuries, and the likelihood of more injuries occurring in the future.
The following pressure cookers have been recalled for posing serious risks to consumers:
- Alcan Pressure Cookers—recalled due to scald injuries
- Cuisinart Pressure Cookers
- Welbilt Electronic Pressure Cookers—recalled after 37 burn reports, some consumers reported third degree burns
- Manttra Pressure Cookers—recalled after contents of cookers spilled and burned two consumers
- HSN Bella Cucina Zip Cookers—recalled after eight incidences of consumer burn injuries were reported
- HSN Ultrex-brand Pressure Cookers
- Power Pressure Cooker XL
- Maxi-Matic Pressure Cookers
- Tristar Products—Power Pressure Cooker XL
- Fagor America Cookers
- Tabletops Unlimited Cookers
- Maxi-Matic Cookers
- Wolfgang Puck Worldwide Cookers
- Double Insight Instant Pot Pressure Cooker
- 3-Squares Tim3 Machin3 Cookers
If you or a loved one suffered an injury due to a defective pressure cooker, and have questions about the legal remedies available to improve quality of life and medical care in Ohio, contact The Lyon Firm at (800) 513-2403. You will speak directly with Mr. Lyon, and he will help you answer these critical questions.