Pressure cookers have become very popular in recent years, thanks to increases in mass marketing and plentiful shelf space in Walmart and other big box stores. However, due to safety concerns, many pressure cookers have been recalled. If these pressurized appliances are defective, explosions can occur, spraying scalding food and liquids to anyone within 10 feet or more. These types of accidents can produce burn injuries and many other external injuries resulting from flying shrapnel.
Pressure cookers work by using pressurized heat and steam to cook foods faster. Most pressure cookers have a heating unit, an inner pot, and a locking lid with a pressure release valve. When cooking, the lid is locked in place and as the inner pot is heated, pressure increases inside. The locked lid should be designed to stay in place under pressure. When cooking is complete, the user should be able to use the pressure release valve to allow steam to escape, then safely remove the lid.
Defective Pressure Cooker Lids and Valves
In many of the pressure cookers that have exploded or been recalled by the manufacturer, there is a safety flaw or defect in either the locking lid or the pressure release valve. As a result, pressure cookers have exploded, breaking or freeing the lid, spraying boiling substances on adults and children nearby. Pressure release valves have also malfunctioned, failing to release enough pressure to avoid excessive pressure buildup explosion when the user attempts to remove the lid. Injuries from these defective devices have included severe burns on the face, scalp, neck, back, arms, hands and torso from steam and scalding food/liquid.
Popular Pressure Cooker Brands That Have Been Recalled
There are many popular pressure cooker brands that have been recalled because they have dangerous defects that can lead to serious injuries for consumers. The following is a list of the most popular pressure cookers that have faced recalls. We recommend that anybody who owns a pressure cooker to go to the CPSC website and search their database for your particular pressure cooker brand and model.
If you own a pressure cooker from any of the following brands, you need to ensure that your product has not been recalled (these are in alphabetical order, not an order of recall dates):
- ALDI Chef’s Collection Pressure Cooker
- Bella Cucina “Zip Cooker”
- Bistro Pressure Cookers
- Blusmart (sold on Amazon)
- Cook’s Essentials
- Double Insight
- Elite Bistro (Electric Pressure Cooker)
- Elite Platinum
- Fagor America
- Instant Pot (Insta Pot)
- Ninja Foodi
- NuWave Pressure Cooker
- Philippe Richard
- QVC (Electric Pressure Cooker)
- Sunbeam Crock Pot
- Tabletops Unlimited
- Tristar Pressure Cooker
- Wolfgang Puck
Types of Damages You Can Recover
There are various types of damages available to those who have been injured due to a defective product or pressure cooker. This includes both economic and non-economic damages relating to injuries sustained due to a pressure cooker incident. Our team regularly obtains the following types of compensation for faulty product cases:
- Coverage of all medical bills related to the injuries
- Lost income and lost future earnings
- Pain and suffering damages
- Loss of personal enjoyment damages
- Property damage expenses
- Possible punitive damages against a pressure cooker manufacturer or company
The total amount of compensation awarded will vary depending on the particular facts of each case.
How is Fault Proven in a Defective Product Case?
There are numerous ways in which fault can be proven in the event a defective product causes an injury to a consumer. This can include showing negligence or inaction by a company through strict liability, proving fraud, or breach of warranty.
When working to prove negligence in a product liability cases, there are four elements they need to be present:
- Duty: It must be shown that there was a duty of care owed to the plaintiff (injured consumer) by the defendant (company or manufacturer of the faulty product). A duty of care is generally established when a consumer purchases a product.
- Breach: It will need to be proven that the defendant breached the duty of care they owed to the plaintiff. In the case of a faulty pressure cooker, it needs to be shown that the company or manufacturer distributed a defective product.
- Injury: The plaintiff must have been injured due to the defective pressure cooker.
- Causation: It must be firmly established that the breach of duty by the defendant directly caused the plaintiff’s injury.
When working to prove strict liability, it only needs to be shown that a product had a defect that caused an injury to the plaintiff. For strict liability, there is no requirement for any of the elements of negligence to be in place, and there is no need to prove “fault.” For strict liability, all that a company or manufacturer has to have done is made the defective product available to the consumer.
Fraud or Deceit
When working to show fraud or deceit, a plaintiff will want to prove that a seller or manufacturer communicated information to consumers about the product that was misleading or completely false, and that the consumer relied on this information and subsequently sustained an injury as a result.
Breach of Warranty
In cases when a product liability claim alleges breach of warranty, a plaintiff will have to prove that the defendant caused the injury because they:
- Have asserted that their product was free from defects, and
- Failed to ensure that it had no defects.
This type of claim is different from negligence or strict liability claims mentioned above because it relates to a broken contractual agreement.
Get the Compensation You Deserve
If you or a family member have been seriously injured when your pressure cooker exploded, check the recall list for these appliances. Take photographs of the exact condition of the broken appliance and surrounding area as it appeared immediately following the injury producing event. Keep all pieces of the appliance, and contact our San Francisco product liability lawyers at Walkup, Melodia, Kelly and Schoenberger to discuss your claim during a free consultation. Even if your pressure cooker has not yet been recalled, you still may be eligible to file a product defect lawsuit to pursue compensation for your injuries.
We serve clients in cities all throughout Northern, Central, and Southern California, including: Chico, Alameda (Oakland), Sacramento, Modesto, Stockton, Manteca, Merced, Fresno, and the San Francisco Bay Area.