A Colorado family has filed suit against the manufacturer of Instant Pot, saying the wildly-popular pressure cooker exploded during use, resulting in severe third-degree burns to their child. The accident, which occurred in September 2017, left the family's then-nine-year-old daughter suffering from burns across 16% of her body. Continue reading to learn how a pressure cooker injury lawyer can assist you if you've sustained injuries in a similar incident.
Last year, Mary Cooper loved the idea and promise of the Instant Pot, a powerful pressure cooker touted for blazing-fast cooking speeds and unparalleled safety. A mother of six, Cooper had seen plenty of ads for the cooker, so she went online and purchased one. "I thought Instant Pot was the greatest invention," she said later. "I thought it was going to help my soup cook faster. Anything that makes dinner faster and easier is great for a young mom."
After the Instant Pot arrived, Cooper tried it out with great success, cooking several meals after reading the product's instructions carefully. With her trial runs over, Cooper decided to prepare a soup for a friend whose mother had recently passed away. Her daughter Caroline, a young cooking enthusiast, joined her in the kitchen to help.
That's when tragedy struck. Cooper described the scenario in detail. "I had made the exact same soup before, cooking with the kids. Everybody is by the island [...] and Caroline wanted to come help me. The soup is done. It beeps it's 'done.' We manually vent it and steam comes out telling you that it is un-pressurizing. The valve float drops, and we go to open it and put the kale in. We were just going to add kale. And it exploded. Completely exploded."
Standing close to the cooker when it happened, Caroline, then nine-years-old, was covered in scalding hot soup. Her face sustained severe burns from a harsh burst of steam. Cooper says the contents of the Instant Pot didn't just spill out of the cooker; they burst like an explosion.
Now 11 years old, Caroline described the frantic rush of the minutes following the explosion: "I went into the kitchen to help my mom cook her soup because I love cooking with my mom. And when we vented it, I was opening it, and it just exploded. I closed my eyes. I remember my mom was on the floor. My dad had come running down the stairs. I was yelling at my mom to get my shirt off because it was still burning me, so my dad picked me up and took me to the hospital right away because my mom was in shock."
Young Caroline suffered third-degree burns over around 16% of her body. She spent weeks receiving treatment at Children's Hospital Colorado's Burn Center, putting a significant financial and emotional stress on the nine-year-old and her family. "Caroline did not want to see her burns, so they would hold up a sheet so her face didn't have to look at her body," Mary Cooper told reporters at Fox31 while choking back tears.
Caroline says she still suffers from anxiety around heated objects. "It was really scary, and I have anxiety still today about it and I was too scared to be around hot things," she told reporters. According to her family's lawsuit, "Caroline Cooper sustained serious, painful, disfiguring and permanent scalding burn injuries to her shoulder, arm, chest and torso."
In their lawsuit, the Cooper family takes issue with one of the Instant Pot's primary safety claims - that the pot's lid cannot be opened until the pressure cooker has de-pressurized completely. The family says this statement is false - as their own distressing encounter with the pressure cooker attests. Their attorney, Ken Moll, says Instant Brands, the manufacturer of the Instant Pot, has been warned on repeated occasions of this alleged design defect, but has thus far failed to address it. "It's certainly a ticking time bomb," Moll said. "We've got a lot of cases around the world where users are experiencing the lid popping off and the contents of the Instant Pot spewing all over causing third-degree burns. These are the facts."
Instant Brands countered the Cooper family's claims in a legal response to their lawsuit, saying the Instant Pot "is reasonably safe, is UL Listed, and was designed, manufactured and tested in accordance with all industry, consensus, and regulatory standards."
Instant Brands merged recently with the company Corelle Brands, owner of the Pyrex cookware brand.
Read related news: Nine-Year-Old Suffers Severe Burns After Pressure Cooker Explosion
There's significant confusion over the possible recall of a European-made pressure cooker sold on Amazon that has been causing pressure cooker explosions. According to a post from Europe's RAPEX, the Rapid Alert System for Non-Food Products, the 6-Liter Stainless Steel One-Touch Pressure Cooker from brand Tower is dangerous and shouldn't be used. In fact, the European Union outlet says the pressure cooker is recalled.
In an alert submitted by European Union member nation France, regulators write: "the working pressure of the safety device and the mechanical resistance of the opening systems are inadequate. If the lid is opened abruptly, the lid's gasket may be ejected from the lid causing hot liquid to shoot out of the pressure cooker. It is also possible that the upper part of the manometric rod may become partially detached and therefore the safe opening system no longer works properly."
Sounds pretty cut-and-dried, doesn't it? RAPEX, an arm of the European Union, comes out and says the Tower One-Touch Pressure Cooker is defective and dangerous. The product sounds like a mess, one able to cause severe and permanent life-threatening injuries to consumers. The only problem? Tower says it's not true. At least, the company isn't aware of any recall.
Which?, a UK-based consumer safety organization, reported on this story first, publishing a blog post on the RAPEX announcement on February 11, 2019. But the next day, the organization was informed by Tower Housewares, a company based in Britain, that it wasn't aware of any recall. Tower says it has no knowledge that its pressure cooker is under a recall.
The company also said that it has all of the applicable European Union test certifications that certify the pressure cooker as safe to use. Tower says there have been no reported safety incidents with the model in the United Kingdom, though it provided no details on possible incidents occurring in other European countries.
Strange, isn't it? If we believe the European Union's official product safety service, Tower's 6-liter One Touch Stainless Steel pressure cooker is under an urgent safety recall, but the company itself has no knowledge of this. The RAPEX alert even provides details on the "recall," saying affected models have the model number T90103 printed on the base of the pressure cooker, with the barcode 5055195872791 on the box. And the announcement clearly states that "the product does not comply with the requirements of the Pressure Equipment Directive and the relevant European standard EN 12778."
Which? says that, while it's the responsibility of a manufacturer to inform customers of a product recall, there's no information on the recall on Tower's website. That's certainly true. Tower's page for Product Recalls features no relevant information. As we wait for updates, Which? advises all consumers who own a Tower One Touch Stainless Steel pressure cooker to stop using the product immediately.
For more pressure cooker lawsuits, see: Colorado Family Files Instant Pot Lawsuit After Pressure Cooker Explosion
A nine-year-old boy in Wynnewood, Oklahoma suffered severe burns after a pressure cooker explosion in his family's kitchen on January 15, 2019. Nine-year-old Aiden Tuley, seen at Oklahoma's News 4 wrapped in bandages in a hospital bed, is recovering now with the help of qualified medical professionals.
Continue reading similar articles provided by our pressure cooker injury attorneys at Banville Law.
Alongside his grandmother, Aiden suffered severe burns when the family's new pressure cooker exploded. Aiden believes that his grandmother put too much water in the cooker. "It was like, all you could hear is just the water coming out and it came to attack," the nine-year-old says, adding, "my nana puts too much water in there."
Aiden and his grandmother say they were preparing beans on the night in question. The pressure cooker blew up, covering the two in scalding hot water and burning beans. Now, Aiden's little body is covered in blisters and burns. His grandmother suffered 3rd degree burns, while Aiden is affected by 2nd degree burns. "It was hard," says Aiden, who used to love helping his family members prepare dinner, "like you don't want to experience the pain. Sometimes I can't even hardly sleep. Like last night I was up until 4:00 am."
Aiden's mother, Maria Galvan, was exercising when she got a call about the accident. "I heard him say I didn't deserve this and I knew it was serious and it broke my heart," Galvan said. Maria says that parents and grandparents should do thorough research before bringing a pressure cooker into the home, because they can be dangerous.
"I wish I could just take it all back and know more or maybe even tell my mom not to buy that or get it," says Galvan. Aiden has advice for people, too: "I would suggest at least using or making sure you have the right amount of water or release the pressure until there's not even a little bit of air coming out and unplug it when you take off the lid."
Thankfully, Aiden's doctors don't think he'll be permanently scarred, just limited a bit in his range of physical activities.
No reports have yet identified the manufacturer or model of the pressure cooker in question and, while Aiden and his grandmother believe too much water was added to the pot, it's also possible that a malfunction of the pressure cooker led to the explosion.
A number of recent lawsuits have alleged that some of America's most popular pressure cookers, including the Power Pressure Cooker XL, are defective. Coupled with recent pressure cooker and multicooker recalls from such prominent brands as Instapot, consumers across the country are finally waking up to the dangers of today's pressure pots.
Despite high-tech safety features and plenty of buzz, consumers have suffered severe burns when the Power Pressure Cooker XL has unexpectedly exploded during normal use. Over a dozen home cooks have reported disastrous incidents to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, while dozens of other families have chosen to file personal injury lawsuits.
Alongside Tristar's Power Pressure Cooker XL, consumers have raised serious concerns over the following pressure cooker models:
Our attorneys have been at the forefront of this growing litigation, in which injured consumers from across the country accuse pressure cooker manufacturers of manufacturing defective products. In late-2017, our national alliance of dedicated product liability attorneys filed two multi-plaintiff lawsuits in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, representing the claims of 12 different home cooks all injured by the Power Pressure Cooker XL.
As our attorneys argued in court documents, our clients were injured while using the Power Pressure Cooker XL under normal operating conditions. The lid of the pressure cooker, despite supposed safety features designed to prevent this occurrence, suddenly came off, even though the contents of the pot were still under pressure.
Our attorneys believe that a serious product defect undermines the Power Pressure Cooker XL's safety features, leaving unsuspecting home cooks and their loved ones directly in harm's way. Most of our clients were forced to seek out emergency medical treatment, after having suffered second and third-degree burns. Some will live with permanent scars forever.
For more information related to pressure cooker accidents, visit: https://banvillelaw.com/tower-one-touch-pressure-cooker-recall/