Pressure cookers are popular home appliances, particularly for families that seek out ways to make healthy foods quickly. These cookers use high pressure to increase the boiling point of liquids, allowing for the thorough cooking of foods in short amounts of time. Yet, these cookers can be dangerous, especially if they have defects that allow the opening of the lid when the contents are still under pressure.
Consumer advocacy website “ConsumerWatch.com” states that the most common defects in pressure cookers are: (1) inadequate cooking pot lid seals that allow spilling and explosions, (2) faulty cooker gaskets that allow premature opening under high pressure, and (3) inadequate steam venting. All of these defects can lead to dangerous explosions and serious burn injuries.
Recently, such an alleged defect injured a Florida toddler, who lost her leg after a pressure cooker exploded in her home.
Grandmother Responded to Strange Noise Coming from the Cooker
The Daily Mail reported that in September, two-year-old Samantha Gonzalez was taking a bath in the kitchen sink when a pressure cooker nearby exploded, severely burning the young girl. A month later, she had to have one of her legs amputated due to the explosion.
According to Local10 news, doctors diagnosed the child with second- and third-degree burns covering 60 percent of her body. Her grandmother was bathing her in the sink because of a disability that prevented her from bending over to use the bathtub. She was making dinner in the pressure cooker at the same time. The grandmother said she heard the device make a loud whistling noise. She was afraid it was going to burst, so she grabbed the pressure cooker to protect the child, but was unable to keep it from injuring the toddler.
The girl’s parents said that the child has been fighting for her life ever since the incident, and that even after the amputation, she may require more surgeries because of complications from the burns.
Australia Woman Severely Burned by Pressure Cooker
This tragic event is only one of many involving allegedly defective pressure cookers. In June 2016, “The Sun” reported that an Australia woman and her partner were making soup in the kitchen when the cooker exploded. Her partner had let the pressure release valve off, and the steam had escaped as usual. “Then I heard a click,” the woman told “The Sun.” “The lid had unlocked and because it hadn’t finished releasing the pressure the lid flew off and the entire contents hit me like as if someone chucked a bucket of water at me.”
Her partner, who was holding the cooker, suffered from serious burns, and the woman suffered from severe burns to the majority of both arms, her chest, and stomach. She stated that her treatments were helping, but that she wanted to share her story: “These pressure cookers are not safe. I want the one I used recalled and I want people to be aware of the dangers.”
She added that neither she nor her partner did anything wrong—that the machine unlocked prematurely.
There have been pressure cooker recalls in the past, including one in 2007 that affected 8,300 Bella Cucina Zip cookers. The manufacturer implemented the recall after eight reports of consumer burn injuries.
More recently, a number of reports have been filed related to Tristar pressure cookers, and some individuals have filed lawsuits in an attempt to hold the manufacturer responsible.
Exclusively focused on representing plaintiffs, especially in mass tort litigation, Eric Chaffin prides himself on providing unsurpassed professional legal services in pursuit of the specific goals of his clients and their families. Both his work and his cases have been featured in the national press, including on ABC’s Good Morning America.