Is a major hazard lurking in millions of American kitchens? Home cooks across the country believe that some of the nation’s best-selling pressure cookers, including the Power Pressure Cooker XL manufactured by Tristar Products, are seriously – and dangerously – defective.
Consumers File Suit After Pressure Cookers Explode
Reports of devastating pressure cooker explosions describe sudden product failures, property damage and severe burns, with many consumers requiring emergency medical treatment. In fact, some injured people have even turned to legal action, filing product liability lawsuits for medical expenses, lost wages and emotional trauma.
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Over 60 consumers have reported troubling pressure cooker explosions to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, an arm of the federal government. In complaint after complaint, home cooks accuse appliance manufacturers large and small of selling unacceptably dangerous products to the American public.
Latest Pressure Cooker Explosion News
By Laurence P. Banville, Esq.
September 11, 2018 – Couple Settles With Manufacturer In Pressure Cooker Lawsuit
A California couple has recently settled a lawsuit they filed against Kohl’s Department Stores Inc. and Maxi-Matic USA Inc., the manufacturer of the Maxi-Matic Elite Bistro Pressure Cooker. The suit sought damages after the woman was injured in a pressure cooker explosion that occurred in March 2015 and alleged that the store and manufacturer were negligent. The suit has been settled but the terms of the settlement have not been released.
August 31, 2018 – Pressure Cooker In Connecticut Determined Not To Be A Bomb
On Thursday, August 30, an abandoned pressure cooker was found outside of an elementary school in Meriden. Police were alerted at around 8 am and all students and neighbors were kept told to take shelter. The bomb squad was called in and the pressure cooker was safely blown up. Police then were able to determine that the pressure cooker was not a bomb.
July 31, 2018 – Vancouver Police Blow Up Pressure Cooker Found On The Street
Around 9 pm on July 4, a pressure cooker was discovered sitting on a bench outside of a 7-11 in downtown Vancouver. The appliance remained undisturbed until authorities arrived around midnight to investigate. Authorities used a bomb disposal unit to perform a controlled explosion of the appliance but reported that the device was not a bomb and posed no risk to the public.
June 12, 2018 – Pressure Cooker Bomb Scare In Florida
On Friday, June 8th, the police were called to Congress Avenue and Ocean Drive in Boynton Beach, Florida. Police received a call because someone spotted a suspicious item sitting on a bus stop bench. The bomb squad was called in and the streets were blocked off. It was determined that the item was a pressure cooker that was left behind. The item was not a threat, and th roads were reopened.
May 7, 2018 – Pressure Cooker Bomb Discovered In Rhode Island Town
On April 5, police and members of the state bomb squad were called to investigate a suspicious device located off Hopkins Hill Road in West Greenwich, Rhode Island. The device turned out to be a pressure cooker bomb. There have been no arrests connected with the bomb but 2 search warrants were executed at the homes of 2 teenagers and at least one teen suspect has been questioned.
April 16, 2018 – The Boston Marathon Continues Five Years After Pressure Cooker Bombings
On April 15th, 2013, two homemade bombs created out of pressure cookers were set off, exploding close to the finish line of the Boston Marathon. More than 260 people were injured in the blasts and 3 died. Today, five years later, the 122nd race will occur despite the events that took place just a few short years ago. Many runners who were traumatized that day show their bravery and perseverance by returning to run and take back their race. Even though it is a struggle to deal with the memories and fear the bombings brought, the race continues today! We wish all Boston well today!
March 6, 2018 – Gem Multicookers From Instant Pot Recalled Due To Risk Of Overheating
On Thursday, March 1st, Instant Pot announced a recall of the company’s Gen 65 8-1 multicooker after having issued warnings previously that noted the multicooker could overheat and melt. The particular model that is being recalled is easily identified because it is the only model that is oval shaped and it is only sold at Walmart. Any consumer that needs to return their cooker can take them back to Walmart or directly contact the company for a replacement.
February 20th, 2018 – Man Who Set Off Pressure Cooker Bombs Sentenced To Prison
In September 2016, New York and New Jersey residents were horrified when a New Jersey man set off several bombs in both states. In New York City, he set off a bomb made out of a pressure cooker that sent shrapnel into the air but miraculously did not kill anyone. His bombs did, however, injure 30 people, and the prosecutor criticized the man in court for not showing any remorse for his actions. On Tuesday, February 13, the man was sentenced to multiple terms of life in prison.
January 10th, 2017 – Building Evacuated After Pressure Cooker Explodes
A pressure cooker exploded in an apartment where a man was using it to cook his dinner. He reported that there was no warning, however, suddenly the lid flew from the pot into the ceiling where the impact caused damage to the ceiling, oven, and kitchen cabinets. The pressure also caused the glass on the patio door to break and two interior doors to displace. Fire alarms sounded and all occupants were rushed from the building. Thankfully, no one was injured.
December 19th, 2017 – Toddler Loses Fingers & Leg In Pressure Cooker Explosion
A grandmother was giving her infant grandfaughter a bath in the kitchen sink when the pressure cooker she was making chicken noodle soup in exploded, covering the child and burning 60% of her body. Despite quick intervention from doctors, the child developed a secondary infection which resulted in the amputation of all of her fingers and a leg.
November 8th, 2017 – Woman Sustains 2nd-degree Burns When Pressure Cooker Exploded
Another woman has filed a pressure cooker lawsuit after she was hospitalized with 2nd-degree burns when the cooker she was using exploded. In her suit, she alleged that she was making dinner for her family when the cooker exploded. She heard the device start to make an odd noise and that steam was coming out of places that shouldn’t have been releasing steam. She was able to successfully unplug it but noticed the lid was not in a locked position. Moments later, she was covered in scalding stew.
October 9th, 2017 – Investigation Reveals Fire Caused By Pressure Cooker
In June, one couple’s wedding reception was cut short when staff alerted their guests to a fire in the venue. According to the officials who investigated the fire, the cause was an accidental outbreak caused by a faulty fire cooker. Although only one employee was hurt, the building sustained extensive damage which not only ruined the couple who were wed that day but also those who had scheduled to have their receptions hosted there in the coming months.
September 27, 2017- Woman Almost Lost Her Eye When Pressure Cooker Exploded
A 25-year-old woman from Northern Ireland said she was almost blinded after a pressure cooker exploded in her face. The young woman was making soup using the pressure cooker but unfortunately, ended up in the emergency room after the explosion. She had used a wooden spoon to slide the vent open in order to release some steam. This action caused the explosion and left her covered in boiling liquid. Having her glasses on possibly saved her from worse injuries.
August 24, 2017- Mom Regrets Buying Popular Pressure Cooker
A Miami mom regrets her decision of buying a popular pressure cooker that ended up exploding on her and left her with severe burns. The woman was injured while she was cooking dinner for her family. The mom was making a stew with her husband when suddenly her children heard her screaming. Her Tristar Power Pressure Cooker XL exploded on her and caused second-degree burns on her hands, arms, and chest. The pressure cooker she was using has been registered with the Consumer Product Safety Commission with complaints against it.
July 28, 2017- Pressure Cooker Explodes On Mom With An Infant Nearby
A mom of three was severely burned when her pressure cooker exploded and the contents of the cooker burned her body. The mom was making soup in the pressure cooker. She went to check on her soup while holding her three-month old baby. Thankfully, she had put her baby down minutes before she opened the cooker. She let the pressure release valve off to release pressure and the steam came out the top as it should, however, within seconds she felt hot liquid all over her body. The lid flew off and released the contents on her. She posted her burns on social media to highlight the danger of pressure cookers.
May 26, 2017-Miami Woman Flown To Jackson Memorial Hospital After Pressure Cooker Explosion
A Miami Gardens woman was flown to Jackson Memorial Hospital after a pressure cooker exploded in her home. She suffered burns to parts of her body after the pressure cooker exploded while she was making rice and beans. According to sources, neighbors heard the woman screaming outside her home. She was found and transported to hospital. Fortunately, she is expected to recover from this pressure cooker explosion accident.
April 28, 2017- A Wolfgang Puck Pressure Cooker Explodes On New Jersey Woman
A woman from New Jersey claims that a Wolfgang Puck pressure cooker exploded on her and caused scalding hot soup to land on her body. The woman sued the famous cook for this accident. She claims that she used the pressure cooker about 10 times in the year that she owned it. In that time she only used it to make soup and she followed the pressure cooker directions to the tee, including unplugging the pressure cooker, waiting for 30 minutes, then allowing the pressure to vent. However, on this occasion, the pressure cooker indicator appeared ready for the lid to be opened and things went wrong. She removed the lid slowly, but the lid popped off allowing burning hot liquid to explode onto her body. She was burned on her abdomen and upper extremities.
March 29, 2017 – Tristar Pressure Cooker Explosion Causes Serious Burns
A South Florida couple is filing an exploding pressure cooker lawsuit against the sellers and manufacturers of the Tristar pressure cooker alleging that the product is unsafe. The couple experienced an explosion of the Tristar Power Pressure in their kitchen which resulted in the husband suffering serious burns when he tried to open the pressure cooker. Pressure cooker contents exploded in the husband’s direction, spewing highly heated liquid all over him. He suffered second-degree burns to his arms, from his elbow to the fingertips. His wife suffered less serious burns that resulted in her hand swelling up. Tristar has yet to issue a recall of their pressure cooker.
February 24, 2017- Couple Sues Kohl’s And Pressure Cooker Maker For Explosion
A couple from Canyon Country is suing Kohl’s as well as a pressure cooker maker after the device exploded and left the wife with serious burns. The couple filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court, naming both Kohl’s Department Stores Inc. and Maxi-Matic USA Inc. The lawsuit alleged that the wife was harmed due to the negligence of both Kohl’s and Maxi-Matic, which left the husband without his wife’s love and companionship because of the injuries she suffered. They are seeking unspecified damages on all allegations of negligence, failure to warn, breach of express warranty, strict liability, and loss of consortium.
January 27, 2017- Consumer Sues Wal-Mart Over Pressure Cooker Burns
A product liability lawsuit has been filed by a Sam’s Club customer against Wal-Mart Stores Inc. The lawsuit also includes a kitchen appliance manufacturer for second and third degree burns she suffered on her face and neck due to a defective pressure cooker. The lawsuit was filed in Pennsylvania federal court against Wal-Mart Stores Inc., manufacturer Group Vasconia S.A.B. and, Lifetime Brands Inc. The suit states that a defective pressure cooker sold under the Lifetime Brands name caused the complainant to have permanent injuries that required her to undergo surgery and skin grafts among other procedures.
December 21, 2016- Judge Rules That Home Shopping Channel Can Now Be Sued For Pressure Cooker Injuries
The home shopping and e-commerce company HSNi can now be sued due to a recent ruling by a New York federal judge. HSNi can be sued for punitive damages for selling allegedly defective pressure cookers. The U.S. District judge in Brooklyn stated that plaintiffs can seek punitive damages over pressure cooker injuries.
November 30, 2016- Woman Admitted To Hospital For Pressure Cooker Explosion Burns
A mother of two suffered second-degree burns after her Breville pressure cooker malfunctioned and exploded. The mom was not far from the Fast and Slow Cooker BPR200 -when boiling fat and meat exploded and landed on her body. She stated that hot water was coming out of the lid while the lid was still on the cooker. She drove herself to the emergency room while she was in a lot of pain and was told she had burns to 10 per cent of her body. After the accident occurred the mom sent Breville her cooker so they could find out what caused the accident to occur.
October 20, 2016- Cafeteria Employee Suffers Serious Burns In Pressure Cooker Accident
In Bridgewater, New Jersey, a cafeteria employee at the Sri Venkateswara Temple suffered serious burns after the top of a pressure cooker was dislodged. The 48-year-old woman suffered burns to her hand and arm when the pressure cooker lid came off and shot out hot rice all over the cafeteria. The woman was airlifted to the Saint Barnabus Center in Livingston to receive treatment.
September 26, 2016 – Chelsea Bombers Used Pressure Cookers In Attack, Injuring 29
At least 29 people were injured in Manhattan on September 16, 2016 in what New York mayor Bill de Blasio has called an “intentional” bombing. The incident has reminded security officials of a previous attack, the Boston Marathon bombings of 2013, since bombers in both incidents used jury-rigged pressure cookers to carry out their attacks. In Manhattan, bombers used cell phones and strings of Christmas lights as improvised detonators, according to the New York Post.
Out of the hundreds of pressure cookers available on the US market, consumers have raised serious safety concerns over the following brands:
- Tristar Products – Power Pressure Cooker XL
- Fagor America – Casa Essentials, Elite & Rapida pressure cookers
- Tabletops Unlimited –
- Maxi-Matic – ELITE Platinum pressure cookers
- Wolfgang Puck Worldwide
Pressure cookers are designed to trap moisture inside a securely-sealed pot, raising cooking temperatures and reducing cook times. Like any other product sold in America, the appliances are not meant to explode during normal operation.
Power Pressure Cooker XL Explosions
Pressure cookers manufactured by Tristar Products – the company behind the popular “As Seen On TV” Power Pressure Cooker XL – appear to carry the highest risk of explosion. Available through major retailers like Walmart and advertised widely on television, the pressure cooker is marketed as an “amazing one-button kitchen miracle.” But some home cooks say the Power Pressure Cooker XL is dangerously defective.
Despite extensive safety features, consumers have suffered severe burn injuries when the pressure cooker suddenly blew up during operation. In 12 reports to SaferProducts.gov, home cooks describe explosions involving the Power Pressure Cooker XL – often attributing the incidents to a potentially-faulty lid locking system.
- June 23, 2017 – “my wife was cooking dinner using Tristar power pressure cooker XL. The product indicated it was done and all directions were followed to release pressure. While releasing cover the contents exploded all over leaving my wife with second and third degree burns on her hands, arms, chest and stomach.”
- April 21, 2017 – “pressure cooker malfunction resulting in injury […] the lid is advertised as a safety lid that should not turn if there is any pressure. However, the lid did turn and, as it did, the scalding hot contents of the pot erupted and shot out of the pressure cooker […] I was burned with blistering 2nd degree burns across my abdomen even through 2 layers of clothing.”
- August 9, 2016 – “went to open the pressure cooker. Turned the valve to release the pressure and it did not release. Attempted to repeat this step with no change. Went to turn the lid and open the cooker. Pressure cooker contents burst and burned me.”
- April 7, 2016 – “consumer was cooking with the pressure cooker, then released the pressure valve. Then later came to open it and the lid blew off and contents exploded all over consumer’s body. Product was supposed to stay locked until all pressure was released, which it did not.”
- February 29, 2016 – “went to turn the lid to remove when the pressure from the cooker exploded[,] causing hot scalding soup to erupt all over my kitchen and myself. I received second degree burns on my left hand and right breast.”
Other reports are in a similar vein, noting apparently defective pressure release valves and lids that seem to open when they should not. In the vast majority of complaints, consumers report sustaining painful second- and third-degree burns. Many people say they were forced to seek emergency medical attention.
Pressure Cooker Lawsuits Against Tristar Products
Tristar has already been hit with a number of product liability lawsuits, but legal experts believe that hundreds of other injured consumers may also be eligible to pursue compensation.
Our Attorneys Take Tristar To Court
In September and November 2017, our national alliance of experienced product liability lawyers filed two multi-plaintiff lawsuits in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, representing in total the claims of 12 different consumers. All of our clients were using a Power Pressure Cooker XL under normal conditions when the lid suddenly came off, ejecting the pot’s burning contents throughout the kitchen.
Attorneys believe a serious product defect may undermine the pressure cooker’s safety features, leaving unsuspecting home cooks and their families in harm’s way. Most of the plaintiffs were forced to receive emergency medical treatment after being covered in scalding liquid and food. Many are still recovering from second- and third-degree burns, while some will live with permanent scarring for the rest of their lives.
Florida Case Settled Out-Of-Court
Prior to our own filings, two legal complaints filed in June 2015 saw couples from Florida and Texas say that the Power Pressure Cooker XL exploded unexpectedly – likely due to an alleged design defect. According to court records, one of these pressure cooker explosion lawsuits – filed by a couple from Sunny Isles Beach, Florida – has already ended in an undisclosed settlement. The second lawsuit, filed in the US District Court for the Southern District of Texas, is still pending.
Our product liability attorneys believe that dozens – if not hundreds – of other home cooks may have been seriously affected by this issue. For those who have suffered injury, legal action could be possible.
Is This A Class Action?
In searching for information, you may have come across a few websites, created by attorneys, that mention a pressure cooker class action. To our knowledge, none of these firms have yet filed a class action. In any event, class action usually isn’t the right course of action when severe personal injuries are involved. If someone files a pressure cooker class action in the future, you can bet it’ll be about getting a refund for a defective cooker, not securing compensation for personal injuries.
Our attorneys are filing individual personal injury lawsuits on behalf of injured consumers. Individual lawsuits are usually better for people who have suffered severe injuries and incurred significant medical expenses. Most people who join a class action lose control over the case. We don’t want that to happen to our clients.
Fagor America: Casa Essentials Pressure Cookers
Based in Lyndurst, New Jersey, Fagor America is the US subsidiary of Fagor Group, a Spanish appliance manufacturer. According to the company’s website, Fagor stands as “the most well-known pressure cooker brand on the market,” with products like:
Almost every one of these brand names has appeared in at least one explosion report. But the company’s Casa Essentials pressure cookers – which seem to have been taken off the market in recent months – have been linked to the most serious dangers.
Fagor Pressure Cookers Are A “Bomb,” Consumers Say
On Amazon.com, dissatisfied customers refer to the Casa Essentials pressure cooker as “a bomb” and a “dangerous product.” Multiple explosions and near-miss accidents have been reported, including several that attribute the product’s apparent risks to a faulty gasket. As one reviewer wrote in 2014, “the silicone seal failed after about a dozen uses. The [pressure cooker] took off across our kitchen like a steam-powered rocket.”
The most serious incidents, however, are listed by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission. In 8 consumer complaints, home cooks report what seem to be total product failures. As just one example, take the complaint submitted by a 55-year-old man on July 21, 2015:
“After cooking, I waited for about 20 – 30 minutes and pulled off the regulator to check for any residual pressure. There was no steam released and no sound of steam. I then opened the pressure cooker and as I did so, it exploded, and the stew contents hit my chest, neck and face which left me with first and second degree burns. I sought medical attention immediately.”
Worse yet, many of these consumers have attempted to contact Fagor America, in hopes of receiving compensation or a new pressure cooker, but say the company has proved utterly unresponsive.
In Default Judgment, Fagor Hit With $259,000 Damages
At least one exploding pressure cooker lawsuit has been filed against Fagor America, according to FindLaw.
In 2004, a 19-year-old man contacted Fagor, complaining to the company about burn injuries he said had been caused by a sudden pressure cooker explosion. Fagor referred the young man to its insurance carrier. Dissatisfied with the insurer’s offer – only $5,000 – the man filed a lawsuit, accusing Fagor of marketing a dangerously defective product in a California state court. The company, however, didn’t respond to his complaint. As a result, the California court had no choice but to issue a default judgment against Fagor, awarding the injured man over $259,000.
Tabletops Unlimited: Philippe Richard & Denmark Pressure Cookers
Tabletops Unlimited (often shortened to “ttu”) is a manufacturer of housewares and appliances in California. Under brand names like Bella and Casa Maria, the company has become a leading provider of inexpensive pressure cookers. While several explosions have been reported, these incidents appear limited to the manufacturer’s Philippe Richard and Denmark branded pressure cookers – products that are no longer advertised on Tabletops Unlimited’s website.
In four reports to SaferProducts.gov, consumers describe sudden explosions of Tabletops Unlimited pressure cookers. The incidents have been largely attributed to an apparently defective gasket. While this rubber or plastic ring is meant to improve the cooker’s lid seal, home cooks describe gaskets that break suddenly, often “after only a few uses,” as one home cook writes.
When the gasket breaks, steam and scalding water are allowed to exit the pressure cooker at high speeds. In two complaints, consumers report sustaining severe burns. Unsurprisingly, home cooks believe that the pressure cookers manufactured by Tabletops Unlimited are defective. One consumer demands a “recall […] to save others from potential property damage and personal injury.”
Maxi-Matic: ELITE Pressure Cookers
Another California-based company, Maxi-Matic markets a number of pressure cookers under its ELITE and ELITE Platinum brand names.
At least three consumers have reported Maxi-Matic pressure cooker explosions to the government, including one home cook who was severely injured. In her July 2014 report, a 61-year-old woman writes:
“I leaned over the cooker to see if there was a problem and it exploded in my face. I had to go to the emergency room with 2nd degree burns on my scalp, face, shoulder and back.”
To date, Maxi-Matic has been sued at least once over a pressure cooker explosion. In September of 2015, a California couple filed suit against the company, claiming that their Maxi-Matic pressure cooker blew up during normal operation – resulting in second- and third-degree burns.
Pressure Cooker Explosion Lawsuits
Were you or a loved one injured when a pressure cooker unexpectedly exploded? The experienced product liability attorneys at Banville Law can help. Our lawyers fight tirelessly to protect the rights of consumers – and we’re prepared to fight for you.
Manufacturers have a crucial duty to produce and sell safe products. When a product comes with a reasonable risk of harm, manufacturers are required to warn consumers adequately of the possible dangers. But all too often, unsuspecting customers are put directly in harm’s way by dangerously defective products. In these cases, injured consumers have every right to file a product liability lawsuit – and pursue significant financial compensation.
Hurt? Call our experienced attorneys today to receive a free consultation. You can learn more about your options at no charge, and no obligation.