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Philippe Richard Pressure Cookers have an unreasonably dangerous design which may allow the lid to come off while the hot contents are still pressurized, according allegations raised in a recently filed product liability lawsuit, which indicates one of the exploding pressure cookers left a Texas woman with severe and disfiguring burn injuries.
The complaint (PDF) was filed this week by Tiffany Bluitt in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, presenting claims against Tabletops Unlimited, Inc. (TTU), which is the manufacturer of Philippe Richard Pressure Cookers.
Bluitt indicates she was using one of the electric pressure cookers on July 20, 2019, when the lid unexpectedly exploded off and caused scalding hot contents to be sprayed onto her, leaving Bluitt with burns to her face, chest and all four limbs.
“Plaintiff and her family used the pressure cooker for its intended purpose of preparing meals and did so in a manner that was reasonable and foreseeable by the Defendant TTU,” the lawsuit states. “However, the aforementioned pressure cooker was defectively and negligently designed and manufactured by Defendant TTU in that it failed to properly function as to prevent the lid from being removed with normal force while the unit remained pressurized, despite the appearance that all the pressure had been released, during the ordinary, foreseeable and proper use of cooking food with the product; placing the Plaintiff, her family, and similar consumers in danger while using the pressure cookers.”
The lawsuit alleges that TTU misled consumers about the effectiveness of safety measures that were supposed prevent pressure cooker accidents and injuries, indicating that a number of features were supposed to make the product virtually impervious to such incidents, including a pressure regulator, safety lock and a sealing ring, all of which should have prevented the lid from exploding and the contents blasting out under pressure.
Pressure Cooker Explosions
The case joins a growing number of similar exploding pressure cooker lawsuits filed in recent months, each raising similar allegations about unreasonably dangerous designs and defective safety features on several modern designs, including products sold under the Instant Pot, Crock-Pot, Ninja Foodi and other popular brands.
The most common pressure cooker accidents 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 (CPSC) 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.