Tristar Power Quick Pot Lawsuit Filed Over Pressure Cooker Explosion Resulting in 3rd Degree Burns
A Nebraska woman indicates she suffered third-degree burn injuries from a pressure cooker explosion, according to a recently-filed product liability lawsuit brought against the makers of Tristar Power Quick Pot.
The complaint (PDF) was filed by Dawn Clary in the U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska on October 18, pursuing damages against Spectrum Brands Holdings, Inc. and Tristar Products, Inc., over design defects that caused her Tristar Quick Pot to explode when she removed the lid, covering her in boiling hot liquid.
According to the Tristar Power Quick Pot lawsuit, Clary bought the modern electronic pressure cooker in April or May in 2020, and used the device regularly for the next several months without issue. The plaintiff indicates she followed the operating instructions, which assured owners that the lid cannot be removed while the contents are under pressure, due to the device’s purported safety features.
However, on July 17, 2020, Clary was cooking a roast for her family, which she had done previously with the device without incident, when the pressure cooker beeped, indicating the meal was ready. Clary states she opened the pressure release valve, waited for the steam to dissipate and easily opened the lid.
The pressure cooker exploded, she claims, spraying hot steam and liquid onto Clary’s face, chest and arms. As a result, she suffered second- and third-degree burns, some of which burned down through every layer of skin.
Design Defects Caused Tristar Power Quick Pot Explosion
Clary indicates the problem with the Tristar Power Quick Pot stems from a defective and unreasonably dangerous design, which relies on the consumer to visually identify that all of the steam has been released before opening the lid. At the same time, the steam release valve holes, which let the steam out, can become clogged with food, trapping steam inside.
“[P]laintiff’s unit’s pressure valve was clogged. This is why Plaintiff did not see any steam venting from the unit before she opened the lid,” the lawsuit states. “Tristar’s defective locking mechanism and internal steam venting designs failed to prevent the consumer from unknowingly removing the lid from the pressurized cooker, resulting in the expulsion of the contents of the Pressure Cooker onto Plaintiff’s face and body.”
The lawsuit accuses the manufacturers of making an unreasonably dangerous and defective product, and presents claims of defective design, negligence, breach of warranty, and failure to warn. Clary is seeking about $150,000 in lost wages, medical bills and other damages.
Pressure Cooker Explosion Lawsuits
Modern electronic pressure cookers have become increasingly popular in recent decades, amid the introduction of products like Instant Pot, Crock-Pot, Ninja Foodi and others, which were promoted aggressively promoted on social media, websites and home shopping stations.
Most of the problems involve similar pressure cooker burn injuries which occurred after the lid was removed while the contents were still under high pressure, typically resulting in burns covering a large percentage of the user’s body. 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.
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