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Pressure cookers have long been hailed as convenient kitchen appliances, promising to reduce cooking times while locking in flavors. According to many consumer reports, however, they’re not always as safe as they are advertised to be.

Recently, three new plaintiffs have come forward, each with claims of pressure cooker explosions resulting in severe injuries. These incidents not only highlight the potential dangers lurking in our kitchens but also raise crucial questions about product safety standards and consumer awareness.

Maryland Woman Claims NuWave Nutri-Pot Exploded and Burned Her

In the first case, a Maryland woman claims that she was using the NuWave 6Q Nutri-Pot Digital Pressure Cooker on December 23, 2021, when it exploded and caused her to suffer substantial burn injuries.

NuWave advertises its “Sure-Lock® Safety System,” which is supposed to keep customers safe while using the cooker. In one of the company’s YouTube videos, the spokesperson boasts that the cooker is “one of the best and safest on the market” and “with our Sure-Lock System, we make sure all of this [pressure] is out…”

Yet according to the complaint, the lock didn’t work as expected, as she was able to rotate and open the lid while the cooker was still under pressure, allowing its scalding hot contents to be forcefully ejected onto her.

She brings counts of strict liability, negligence, and breach of warranties, and seeks both compensatory and punitive damages.

Louisiana Man Claims Ambiano Pressure Cooker Defective

A Louisiana man filed the second case in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana. He is suing Aldi, Inc., makers of the Ambiano 9-in-1 Programmable Pressure Cooker.

According to his complaint, he was using the cooker on February 21, 2023, when he was able to open the lid while the pressure cooker was still under pressure. He notes that this occurred because the cooker’s supposed “safety” features failed.

Like NuWave, Aldi touts the safety of its cookers in the owner’s manual, noting that they are equipped with devices like a float valve, pressure regulatory system, and lid position sensor that are supposed to keep consumers safe from these types of injuries. According to the plaintiff, these devices are defective, failing to operate as expected. He seeks compensatory damages.

Mother Files Claim on Behalf of Herself and Her Minor Son

In the third case, a mother and her minor son—who also live in Louisiana—filed a claim against Best Buy and Midea America Corp. They claim that the Insignia 8 Qt Multi-Function Pressure Cooker is defective, despite the manufacturer’s safety claims.

On May 30, 2023, the plaintiffs both suffered substantial burn injuries when the pressure cooker exploded. Only a few months later, on October 26, 2023, the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) announced a recall of more than 900,000 of Midea’s pressure cookers, including the one the plaintiffs used.

At the time of the recall, Best Buy had received 31 reports of incidents in which the cookers exploded, including 17 reports of burn injuries, some involving second-degree and severe burns.

The plaintiffs bring counts of defective design and manufacture, failure to warn, and negligence, seeking compensatory and punitive damages.

Manufacturers Must Do More to Protect Consumers

These cases underscore the need for stricter regulations and thorough testing procedures to ensure the safety of these pressure cookers. Meanwhile, manufacturers must be held accountable for any defects or design flaws that put consumers at risk.

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