Lawsuit Blames Instant Pot Explosion on Failure of Pressure Cooker’s Safety Features

A “Safety Lid Lock” feature failed to prevent the pressure cooker from being opened while contents were under pressure, resulting in an Instant Pot explosion

A Georgia woman has filed a lawsuit against Instant Pot manufacturers, alleging that the popular pressure cookers are defectively designed, and contain safety features that failed to prevent the lid from being removed while the contents were under pressure, resulting in an explosion and severe burn injuries.

The complaint (PDF) was brought by Courtney Nicole Foster in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia on March 26, seeking damages from Instant Brands, LLC and Corelle Brands, LLC as defendants.

Modern electronic pressure cookers like the Instant Pot pressure cooker have become popular in recent decades, amid marketing that has promoted advanced features that were supposed to prevent pressure cooker explosions that have plagued older, stove-top designs. However a growing number of consumers are now pursuing pressure cooker lawsuits against the makers of the Instant Pot, as well as other popular devices, including Crock Pot, Ninja Foodie and others, often indicating that these safety features failed, allowing the lid to be removed while intense pressure remained inside the pot.

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Pressure Cooker Lawsuits

Faulty and defective designs may cause a pressure cooker to explode, resulting in severe burns and injuries.

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Foster indicates she was using an Instant Pot Programmable Electric Pressure Cooker in August 2021, when she was able to rotate and open the lid while the contents were still under pressure. The scalding hot contents exploded, dousing her and causing serious and substantial burn injuries.

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

Foster’s lawsuit notes that the manufacturers heavily marketed its safety features as selling points, telling the public that they did not need to fear using Instant Pot pressure cookers due to the safety features providing consumers with confidence “knowing that it is not going to explode” because “there’s no way to open the pressure cooker” while the contents are under pressure.

The lawsuit presents claims of strict product liability, defective manufacture, design, failure to warn, negligence and breach of warranty.

Pressure Cooker Recalls

As more of these electric pressure cookers have been introduced in recent years, the CPSC has issued several recalls over problems with pressure cooker explosions, 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.

Last year, a Best Buy Insignia pressure cooker recall was announced for nearly 1 million devices, and a Sensio pressure cooker recall pulled about 900,000 devices off store shelves. Both were linked to pressure cooker explosions linked to failures of the lid safety designs.

Given design problems linked to sold by various manufacturers, including Instant Pot, Crock Pot, Ninja Foodi and others, financial compensation may be available to those who have suffered injuries due to pressure cooker explosions. Pressure cooker injury lawyers provide free consultations to help determine whether individuals nationwide are eligible to pursue a lawsuit.

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