Sunbeam Crock Pot Explosion Results in Lawsuit by Couple Who Suffered Severe Burn Injuries

Pressure cooker explosion occurred after a Crock-Pot recall issued in 2020, but the plaintiffs say they never received notice about problems with the cooker

A Washington couple has filed a product liability lawsuit against Sunbeam, alleging that they both suffered severe burns when their Crock Pot exploded, spraying them with scalding hot contents when the safety features failed to prevent the pressure cooker lid from being removed while steam was still built-up inside the device.

The complaint (PDF) was brought by Philip and Elizabeth Bova on March 14, in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, claiming that the Sunbeam crockpot explosion was caused by an unreasonably dangerous and defective design.

The couple indicates that they were using a Sunbeam Crock Pot pressure cooker in November 2022, when the device allowed the lid to be opened while the contents were still pressurized, which is something the safety features and product advertisements claim should not be possible.

“The scalding hot contents forcefully erupted, which caused Plaintiff Elizabeth Bova serious burn injuries,” the lawsuit states. “The Pressure Cooker also spewed its hot contents onto Plaintiff Philip Bova.”

Elizabeth Bova suffered severe and disfiguring injuries to her chest and hands, whole her husband suffered burn injuries to his arm.

Their claim joins a number of similar pressure cooker lawsuits filed in recent months against the makers of Sunbeam Crock Pots as well as other popular devices, including Instant Pot, Ninja Foodie and others. Each raise similar allegations that the modern electronic devices are prone to explode when the lid is removed, even after the device indicates all steam has been released.

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Pressure Cooker Lawsuits

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

Learn More About this Lawsuit See If You Qualify For Compensation

Modern electronic pressure cookers like the Crock 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, the Bovas and other plaintiffs allege that devastating pressure cooker explosions could have been avoided if the advertised safety features had not failed. Their model of Sunbeam pressure cooker was recalled in November 2020, but the couple indicates they never received a recall notice.

“Before the subject Pressure Cooker was manufactured and/or sold, and before Plaintiffs Elizabeth and Philip Bova were injured by that Pressure Cooker, Sunbeam had a database containing such reports and/or other notice of such events,” their lawsuit indicates. “Prior to November 24, 2020, Defendant Sunbeam ignored and/or concealed from consumers and the general public Sunbeam’s knowledge of the Crock-Pot Pressure Cookers’ defects, and continued to generate a substantial profit from the sale of its Crock-Pot Pressure Cookers.”

The lawsuit presents claims of design defect, construction defect, failure to warn, negligence, and violations of Washington state consumer protection laws. They seek both compensatory and punitive damages.

Pressure Cooker Recalls

As more of these electric pressure cookers have been introduced in recent years, the CPSC  has issued several similar 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.

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 Ninja Foodi, Instant Pot, Crock Pot 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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