Elite Bistro Pressure Cooker Exploded and Caused Serious Burn Injury: Lawsuit

When Crystal Mora used her Elite Bistro Pressure Cooker in October 2019, she says she believed the manufacturer’s claims that advanced safety features would make sure the lid remained locked as long as the contents were under pressure. However, a recently filed lawsuit indicates that she suffered a painful burn injury when the pressure cooker exploded open and sent scalding contents onto her body.

The complaint (PDF) was filed this week in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, pursuing product liability claims against the manufacturer, Pick Five Imports, Inc., which does business as Maxi-Matic U.S.A., Inc., and allegedly provided false and misleading information about the safety of Elite Bistro pressure cookers.

According to the lawsuit, Mora suffered “serious and substantial” burn injuries because the device allowed her to rotate and open the pressure cooker, believing the manufacturer’s claims that the pot could not be opened while the contents were under pressure. After the lid was removed, the scalding hot contents exploded out of the pressure cooker and onto her body, the lawsuit states.

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“The incident occurred as a result of the failure of the pressure cooker’s supposed ‘safety feature[s],’ which purport to keep the consumer safe while using the pressure cooker,” Mora’s lawsuit states. “In addition, the incident occurred as a result of Defendant’s failure to redesign the pressure cooker, despite the existence of economical, safer alternative designs.”

The case joins a growing number of similar pressure cooker lawsuits filed in recent months, each raising similar allegations that various different modern products sold in recent years feature unreasonably dangerous designs and defective safety features, including Instant Pot, Crock-Pot, Ninja Foodi and other popular brands.

The most common problems occur when the safety features fail to prevent the lid from being removed while the contents are still under high pressure, which can result in burns ranging from first to third degree, and typically cover a large percentage of a person’s body. These types of burn injuries can leave patients prone to infections and sometimes requiring amputations. However, other injuries linked to pressure cookers have included eye injuries, broken bones and other complications that resulted from electrocutions, spills or explosions.

As more of these electric pressure cookers have been introduced in recent years, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued several pressure cooker recalls over problems where lids were able to be opened while contents are under pressure, allowing hot contents to be expelled and causing a scald or burn injury to individuals in the immediate area.

Most recently, a massive Crock-Pot recall was issued in November 2020, impacting nearly 1 million 6-Quart Express Crock Multi-Cookers with lid locking defects, after at least 99 burn injuries were reported.


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