NuWave Pressure Cooker Caused Child to Suffer Severe Burns After Lid “Sure-Lock” Failed

Infant was covered with scalding hot contents from a NuWave pressure cooker, when the "Sure-Lock" failed to prevent the lid from being removed while contents were still pressurized

An Indiana mother has filed a product liability lawsuit against NuWave, LLC, indicating one of the company’s pressure cookers severely burned and injured her child, after the “Sure-Lock” safety feature failed, allowing the lid to be removed while the contents were still pressurized, which sent scalding hot contents all over her infant son.

Shylyn Manns filed the complaint (PDF) on October 3 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois on behalf of herself and her minor child, identified only by the initials H.J.M.

The pressure cooker explosion occurred in November 2020, when the lid of a NuWave 6Q Nutri-Pot Digital Pressure Cooker was able to be rotated and opened before all of the built up pressure inside the unit had been released.

NuWave Pressure Cooker Sure-Lock Failure

According to the lawsuit, marketing material promoted a “Sure-Lock” system on the pressure cooker, which was supposed to make sure all of the pressure in the cooker was released before the lid can come off. However, the case now joins a growing number of similar pressure cooker lawsuits being pursued against NuWave and other manufacturers of modern, electronic devices introduced in recent years, with misleading statements about lid-lock features, which were intended to make consumers believe that pressure cooking was safer than it actually is.

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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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The NuWave Pressure Cooker “Sure-Lock” feature was promoted through infomercials, YouTube videos and other media outlets, assuring consumers the button on the front keeps the lid locked until the unit depressurizes on its own, indicating that consumers “don’t have to worry about the pressure cooker blowing up.” However, Manns indicates the safety feature failed on her pressure cooker.

In November 2020, Manns was using her NuWave pressure cooker to make a potato soup. After closing and locking the lid, Manns selected the “soup” setting and set the pressure cooker for 30 minutes. After the cooking cycle was complete, she manually released steam from the pressure cooker and was able to safely open the lid to check the soup. However, after finding that it was still too watery, she added potato flakes to the mixture, and relocked the lid, setting the pressure cooker for two additional 15 minute cooking cycles.

Following the third cycle, Manns indicates that she once again manually released the steam and attempted to remove the lid, but things went terribly wrong.

“Shylyn started opening the lid but could feel it was sticking in place and would not turn,” according to the complaint. “She did not want to force it open and took her hand off the lid. As she was moving her hand, the lid blasted off the pressure cooker. Hot soup blew out of the pot, hitting the ceiling, the upper cabinets and the counter. Much of the soup landed on H.J.M., who was crawling on the floor nearby.”

As a result, the young child suffered serious and substantial burns, which Manns alleges was the direct result of a negligently designed pressure cooker, which was sold with known safety defects.

Pressure Cooker Burn Problems

Modern programmable pressure cookers have been introduced by a number of companies in recent years, and sold under a variety of different brand names, including NuWave, Instant Pot, Crock-Pot, Ninja Foodi and others. Each of them have been marketed with promotions that describe the pressure cookers as safer than traditional stove-top pressure cooking, due to lid locks and other advanced safety features. However, when these safety features fail, consumers have been left with devastating burns and injuries.

The most common pressure cooker injuries occur when the lid is accidentally 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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