A product liability filed against makers of the Instant Pot alleges the effectiveness of safety features widely promoted in advertisements for the pressure cooker were exaggerated and failed, causing a woman to suffer severe and disfiguring burns while preparing a meal.
Deetra Marshall filed the complaint (PDF) in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio on July 16, alleging Instant Pot pressure cookers are dangerously defective and pose a risk of significant injuries for consumers like her.
According to the lawsuit, Marshall purchased an Instant Pot Programmable Electric Pressure Cooker in 2019. In July of that year, she suffered serious and substantial burn injuries when the lid of the pressure cooker was able to be removed while the contents were still under pressure, causing scalding hot liquids to be ejected onto her.
The pressure cooker accident occurred because safety mechanisms on the Instant Pot were defective and failed, Marshall alleges in the complaint.
“Despite Defendant’s claims of ‘safety,’ it designed, manufactured, marketed, imported, distributed and sold, both directly and through third-party retailers, a product that suffers from serious and dangerous defects,” Marshall’s lawsuit states. “Said defects cause significant risk of bodily harm and injury to its consumers.”
The case joins a growing number of similar 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 injuries 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.